## Heesch Numbers, Part 3: Bamboo Shoots and Ice Cream Cones

This is the third post in a planned series of four about Heesch numbers. In the first post, I introduced some of the basic ideas behind Heesch numbers; if you’re not familiar with the topic, you may want to read it before coming back here. The second post was about …

## Heesch Numbers, Part 2: Polyforms

In the first post in this series, I introduced the concept of a shape’s Heesch number. In brief, if a shape doesn’t tile the plane, its Heesch number is a measure of the maximum number of times you can surround the shape with layers of copies of itself. (Shapes that do …

## Heesch numbers, Part 1

I love tiling theory. It’s a branch of mathematics that brings together many beautiful ideas, and that offers a lot of open questions for exploration. And of course, it gives us tools to apply mathematics in the world of art and design. Normally, in my research as a computer scientist …

## Interwoven Islamic geometric patterns

Anybody who has attended a Bridges conference in past ten years will be familiar with the work of Rinus Roelofs. His talks always offer an entertaining contrast: stunning and inspiring ideas in the intersection of geometry and art, balanced with his humble, low-key delivery. It was also Rinus who suggested …

## Arctic Monkeys Simulator

This term, I’m once again teaching CS 106, a second-level introductory programming course with a focus on art and data visualization. The course is taught using Processing, which provides a fun and accessible (though flawed) environment for art-focused novice programmers. The most recent lecture includes a discussion on drawing graphs, and …

In 1989 I attended Shad Valley, a one-month Canadian summer program for high school students. I spent a month living on the UBC campus. Basically it was Nerd Camp, though perhaps with a more diverse range of interests and talents than you might expect from the nerd stereotype, and with …

## The triumphant return of the 3D printed rocket cup

Back in April, a colleague in the Fine Arts department sent a short email whose main body said, roughly, “What’s this I hear about your rocket cups? where can I get a couple?”. Never one to turn away a potential customer, I began to compose a reply in which I …

## Woven book polyhedra

Earlier this year, at a local coffee shop, I noticed a flyer on the wall with a call for artist submissions for an upcoming show in Halton Hills. The topic of the show was Altered Books. I had never experimented with the artform of altered books before, though I had …

## Hypocycloid juggling patterns

I’ve been having fun experimenting with interesting visual patterns that emerge when multiple points are moved around hypocycloids. I ended up writing a Bridges conference paper on the topic, but the animated quality of the results is so crucial that it seemed absolutely necessary to create a web page to …

## Wrong-number emails

I am not an American Express cardholder in Lakewood, New Jersey. I am not hunting for jobs in Baltimore. I am not trying to set my recovery address for gmail. And heaven knows I’m not looking for gay love in Malaysia (not any more, anyway). I created a gmail account pretty early …