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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2003 / 03 

Talk On "Mathematics In Stone And Bronze" Part Of Math Awareness Month At Virginia Tech

March 27, 2003

Helaman and Claire Ferguson will present "Mathematics in Stone and Bronze" Thursday, April 17, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center on the Virginia Tech campus.

This presentation is sponsored by the Department of Mathematics in celebration of Math Awareness Month at Virginia Tech.

Helaman Ferguson's sculptures in stone and bronze celebrate ancient and modern mathematical discoveries, melding the universal languages of sculpture and mathematics. Using slides and video, Helaman and Claire Ferguson trace his creations from initial conception through mathematical design and computer graphics to their final form. The Fergusons will discuss the innovative computer technology used to create tori and double tori, trefoil knots, wild and tame spheres, Moebius strips, and Klein bottles. Their lectures have fascinated audiences worldwide, frequently stimulating dialogue among multiple disciplines.

Helaman Ferguson began his studies as an apprentice to a stone mason. He then studied painting at Hamilton College and sculpture in graduate school. He received the Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Washington in Seattle and taught the subject for 17 years at Brigham Young University. He now lives and works in Laurel, Md.

Ferguson also designs algorithms for operating machinery and for scientific visualization. One of his algorithms is regarded as among the top 10 in the 20th century. He has exhibited and sold his sculptures worldwide.

Claire Ferguson has worked closely with Helaman Ferguson as curator, expositor, and publicist on his mathematical sculptures. She has written extensively about his work, including the Gold Ink and Ozzie award-winning Helaman Ferguson: Mathematics in Stone and Bronze. Claire Ferguson is a graduate of Smith College. She is an artist in her own right and has received scholarships and prizes for her work.

The presentation is free and is geared for people of high-school age on up who have an interest in math and science.

For more information, contact Susan Anderson at 540-231-8041 or Persons with a disability who desire any assistance to participate in this activity should contact Anderson to discuss accommodations at least one week prior to the event.