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Craig Kaplan

Marshmallow Candle Snuffer

In addition to custom socks, which I wrote about previously, I also created a new 3D printed object as a holiday gift, the first 3D printing I’ve done in a while. In the late autumn, we reach the time of year when it’s dark outside as we sit down to …

Holiday socks!

Let’s face it, socks have an undeserved bad reputation as holiday presents. In my family, we all enjoy giving and receiving socks around Christmas. Our collective attitude is well expressed by this old tweet (if you like, you can replace Calendar Age with Level of Sock Enlightenment): For a few …

Swirled Series: The Result

Early in November, Daniel Piker (aka @KangarooPhysics) suggested that a group of people could get together online, and each create a short segment of animation, arranged so that all the start and end frames are identical. We could then assemble all the segments into one long loop and enjoy each …

Swirled Series

This fall, as a creative outlet during a challenging teaching term (and as a distraction from the general mess of the world), I began posting weekly looping animations on Twitter, under the hashtag #swirlysquaresunday. The idea was to find creative expression under a tight set of aesthetic constraints: a looping …

The Metaphysics of Speed Limits

I’m teaching a first-year programming course this fall. It’s a new online-native offering of an existing course, which I’ve been developing over the past couple of years (I hope to write more about this later). Early in the course I introduce Boolean values and conditional evaluation (we use the language …

Mathematical Animated GIFs

I’m freshly back from a weekend in Toronto, where I was participating in the Winter meeting of the Canadian Mathematical Society. I don’t normally attend math conferences, but this time around I was invited to a session entitled “The Art of Mathematics”, and it seemed natural to join in. As …

Temptris

One day I was musing over Atari’s classic vector-based arcade game Tempest, and for some reason I decided it would be amusing to combine it with Tetris. The idea should have died there and then: these two games don’t belong together, and the result would a hot mess. But then …

Andromeda Reimagined

I first learned of Burning Man from The Happy Mutant Handbook, a book of mayhem and counterculture that called out to me one day from a bookstore shelf. I’ve never participated in the festival, and probably never will, but I know many people who have and I suppose it has …

Escher-like Spiral Tilings

The artist M.C. Escher drew many lovely tilings, which he called “regular divisions of the plane”. He worked hard to ensure that his tilings were of lifelike animal forms such as birds and fish. He filled notebooks with hand-drawn sketches of tilings, many of which later found their way into …

A Molecular Near Miss!

I’m thrilled to report that I’m a co-author of the article “An ultra-stable gold-coordinated protein cage displaying reversible assembly“, which was recently published in Nature. This work is the result of an exciting collaboration between biochemists, physicists, structural biologists, mathematicians, and others (including yours truly, a computer scientist!), spread over …