Communicating Infinities

Date started: 2019
Leads: Tashrika Sharma

Abstract

Infinity is often misunderstood outside of the context of mathematics as something that is intuitively obvious ie. understood. By asking multiple mathematicians and non-mathematicians how they would describe infinity on paper, we can start comparing visualizations from different mathematical perspectives and non-mathematical interpretations to make an archive of useful symbolic visualizations for non-mathematicians and mathematicians of different uses and kinds of infinity.

Media

A coarse categorization of the differing visual languages of the responses seen in the GIF.
A refinement of categorization of the responses seen in the GIF.
The above is the result after making appropriate changes from the refinement.
The separation of the responses into three categories of self-identities: mathematician, artist/mathematician, and neither/artist. The last category combines two categories for the sake of looking at a description of infinity from the perspective of a non-mathematician.
I’m taking people’s works and realizing them as handmade plastic models that other people will eventually draw upon.

References

  • William P. Thurston: On proof and progress in mathematics (1994)
  • David Foster Wallace: Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity (2010)

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