5200 N Lake Rd, Merced, CA 95343

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AboutThe Speaker:
Frank A. Farris is the Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Santa Clara University. A frequent participant in the Bridges Conference, he co-organizes an informal group called Bay Area Art and Math
(BAAM!). Farris was editor of Mathematics Magazine from 2001–05 and again in 2009, as well as other positions in the MAA. His book, Creating Symmetry: The Artful Mathematics of Wallpaper Patterns (Princeton, 2015), was awarded the Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award in 2018.

In the late 1990s, it occurred to me that the best way to make wallpaper patterns was to use Fourier series in two variables. If that sounds crazy, it might have been, a little. But the inquiry has been like pulling a thread on a sweater, where one thing leads to another. In this talk, I’ll explain how the standing waves that arise as bases for solutions to linear PDEs form “design spaces” useful for mathematical art. We will see vibrating wallpaper, drumheads made with Bessel functions, and mathematical chain mail. I hope to inspire applied mathematicians to embrace various methods of visualization.

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