How to Make 3D Printed Sculptures of 4D Things with Mathematician Henry Segerman

September 30, 2016 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The Hub Ballroom, George Mason University
4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030
Kara Oakleaf
Abstract: Our brains have evolved in a three-dimensional environment, and so we are very good at visualising two- and three-dimensional objects. But what about four-dimensional objects? The best we can really do is to look at three-dimensional “shadows”. Just as a shadow of a three-dimensional object squishes it into the two-dimensional plane, we can squish a four-dimensional shape into three-dimensional space, where we can then make a sculpture of it. If the four-dimensional object isn’t too complicated and we choose a good way to squish it, then we can get a very good sense of what it is like. We will explore the sphere in four-dimensional space, the four-dimensional polytopes (which are the four-dimensional versions of the three-dimensional polyhedra), and various 3D printed sculptures, puzzles, and virtual reality experiences that have come from thinking about these things. I talk about these topics and much more in my book, Visualizing Mathematics with 3D Printing. Sponsored by the Department of Mathematical Sciences Colloquium, and the Topology, Arithmetic and Dynamics Seminar.