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The Elegance of Line: Ruled Surfaces and the Dynamics of the Olivier Models

by

Davide Cervone
Union College

September 18, 2007
4:15 pm
Bailey 201

Seminar will be followed by a pizza dinner and Mathematics Department open house


Abstract:

Union College owns a rare collection of early 19th century mathematical models designed by Théodore Olivier. At long last, nine of the more than 40 models are now housed in a display case in Bailey Hall, outside the Mathematics Department office. One of the remarkable qualities of these models is that they are manipulatives; that is, they have parts that move to help illustrate families of surfaces and how they interact. Due to the age and delicacy of the models, we no longer are allowed to adjust them, but we can still appreciate their elegant design. In this talk, we will discuss the differential geometry that underlies and motivates the Olivier models, and use interactive computer simulations to demonstrate their transformations, bringing these wonderful objects once again to life.


For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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