Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mathematical Movement

A few weeks ago, Science announced the winners of the annual Dance Your PhD contest. Graduate students from all over the world send in surprisingly impressive videos of dance performances that explain or represent their research. This week on the PhysicsBuzz podcast, I chatted with the winner in the physics and math category, Diana Davis. Here's her winning entry:

Cutting Sequences on the Double Pentagon, explained through dance from Diana Davis on Vimeo.

Davis loves math. And she has some strong feelings about the way people perceive math. Do mathematics researchers spend all day hunched over calculators? Absolutely not.  What does it mean to do an experiment in mathematics? Davis says it's all about shapes. In fact, the research Davis does contributes to a field that could help us understand the shape of the entire universe. Does the universe have an edge? Or is it more like one of those weird Pentagon things in the video? Tune in and find out.

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