Daina Taimina Crocheted Hyperbolic Plane

One of Dr. Daina Taimina’s crocheted hyperbolic planes

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UNDERSTANDING HYPERBOLIC GEOMETRY THROUGH CROCHET

Start by watching this amazing 20-minute TED Talks video:

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THE BEAUTIFUL MATH OF CORAL

As you saw in the video, science writer Margaret Wertheim uses this the hyperbolic crochet technique to create museum exhibits of crocheted coral reefs. She and her sister, Christine, founded the Institute for Figuring, which is “… is an educational organization dedicated to enhancing the public understanding of figures and figuring techniques. From the physics of snowflakes and the hyperbolic geometry of sea slugs, to the mathematics of paper folding and graphical models of the human mind, the Institute takes as its purview a complex ecology of figuring.

Here is their explanation of hyperbolic space: Hyperbolic Spaces Online Exhibit.

You might also want to check out Margaret Wertheim’s book, A Field Guide To Hyperbolic Space in which she explores the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft.  This book includes patterns for crocheting a wide variety of hyperbolic models.

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HOW DID ALL OF THIS GET STARTED?

In 1997 a math professor at Cornell University, Dr. Daina Taimina, discovered that it was possible to create a physical model of a hyperbolic plane using the art of crochet. Many mathematicians thought a physical model was impossible to create. A 2005 article in the New York Times explains: Professor Lets Her Fingers To The Talking.

Dr. Taimina has written a book on the subject and also has a blog.  She explains hyperbolic geometry using crocheted models in the video, Geometries Beyond Euclid from the Annenburg Learner website, Mathematics Illuminated.

In Chapter 9 of her award-winning book, Dr. Taimana discusses how hyperbolic geometry has applications in many fields and is of interest to those studying computer science, mathematics, biology, chemistry, medicine, network security, music, art, and physics. Hyperbolic geometry is even used to help us visualize the world wide web.

If you’d like more information, photos, and tutorials

on hyperbolic crochet, visit my other blog:   Math and Fiber

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More photos can be found on my Hyperbolic Crochet Pinterest Board

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