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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 …

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 …

The Tactile libraries

I developed a new open-source software library for manipulating isohedral tilings, based on the work I did on this topic during my PhD. The library is available in C++ and Javascript, and I offer a few fun automated and interactive demo programs that anybody can use to play with isohedral tilings.

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 …

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 …

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 …

Trump Haiku Bot

Oh he is so quick On his feet. He is reading The #WallStreetJournal. This term, I’m teaching an introductory computer science course for students in Waterloo’s Global Business and Digital Arts program. We’re using Processing, a fun environment for learning programming, and for simple programming tasks related to visual art …