Math Photo: Spherical Nest

Published by MrHonner on

While in Berkeley, CA for MSRI’s Critical Issues in Mathematics Education conference, I happened upon this lovely piece of public art. Walking around the sphere I wondered about the maximum percentage of sky able to sneak through the numerous nested layers.

Categories: Photography


Andjela · March 31, 2019 at 9:52 am

Neat! When you begin with a question like that, do you then have ideas of models you can use to solve the question, or what does your thought process extend into? And what is typically the longest time spent on whilst solving a problem? Is it in setting up a model and testing how true it is? (I’m not as versed in mathematics as I’d like to be, but I do find myself frequently thinking of problems that seem to be often solved via its tools).

    MrHonner · March 31, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    I don’t necessarily think of questions like this as a beginning. Often, the vague or general wonderings I have about a problem like this are satisfying enough for me–I don’t always feel compelled to translate my initial thoughts into a serious attempt at finding an answer. Here, I was thinking about a few things simultaneously: the “Orchard problem” (what’s the probability you can see through to the other side of an orchard of trees); the ways in which the same object has different “projections” when viewed from different angles; and what a computational simulation of this problem might look like. Thinking about all of that was fun enough for me!

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