May 2011, Project for Plan II Mathematics (Student Work)

In his mathematics class for the Plan II Honors Program, The Art of Mathematical Thinking: An Introduction to the Beauty and Power of Mathematical Ideas, Dr. Michael Starbird challenged us to take a mathematical concept studied in the class and represent it in a creative form.

My project centered on an exploration of the fourth dimension in the form of a 4d cube (or hypercube). A truly four-dimensional cube can be thought of as a cube where each side is itself a 3d cube. Of course, this is impossible to represent physically in our 3d world, but we can imagine an "unfolded" version made of 3d cubes, much like unfolding a 3d cube leaves you with a 2d shape:

I constructed such an "unfolded" representation of a 4d cube and photographed it in various locations around Austin, Texas. I staged some photos with a model, but for others I left the cube in a busy area and photographed it from a distance. Interested in the interplay of the object and the people and environment surrounding it, I imagined it as a visitation from another dimension.