QC Makerspace – Two Exhibitions of Maker-Made Math Art on Display

If you’re at Rosenthal Library this semester, be sure to pad your visit with some time to view two display cases containing maker-made math art.

The contents of both vitrines were fabricated by students of Christopher Hanusa, Professor of Mathematics, during the Fall’21 semester – students of MATH 128 “Mathematical Design” and MATH 250 “Mathematical Computing.” Both classes were also participants in the Make STEAM Q project, an initiative supported by the National Science Foundation.

The sign for MATH 128 (the featured image seen above) reads, “This artwork was created digitally using math and software and then was realized physically using machines in the Queens College Makerspace including the laser cutter, embroidery machine, AxiDraw plotter, and 3D printer.” These excellent artworks showcase the diversity of output options available in the Makerspace in Rosenthal Library. This cabinet also contains a “tattoo” (on fake skin) that must be seen to be believed!

MATH 250 “Mathematical Computing” Exhibit

Just down the hall, you’ll find the other display case for MATH 250. The sign reads, “The artwork was created algorithmically using the computational software Mathematica and then 3D printed in steel, nylon, sandstone, and base metals by Shapeways.” Some plastic prints were also done in the QC Makerspace. And we cannot emphasize enough how cool it is that these objects were created algorithmically. They were not ‘designed’ in the classic sense of the word – but instead created using algorithms and math!

I’m intentionally not showing close-ups of the art in order to encourage you to swing by and see it for yourself. Many of the details, the light refraction on metal, the markers layered by a robotic arm, must be seen in person to be truly appreciated. After you enter the library head through the atrium, around the staircase, and you’ll find the display cases in that corridor:

Queens College Libraries 3rd Floor Map to the Makerspace Exhibits

And if you’re curious to know more about our Makerspace facility check out our website and book an appointment!

QC Makerspace – Kickoff for Make STEAM Q

On Saturday November 20th the QC Makerspace @ QC Library hosted QC Staff, Faculty, and one student (thanks, Kevin!) along with an associate from the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) for the kickoff event for ‘Make STEAM Q‘ – a project of Award # 1928565 issued by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award was issued the semester prior to lockdown in 2020, and since then this is our first large, group gathering (interim group meetups were virtual and online).

Trevor Taylor from NYSCI  (seen here) facilitated ‘design thinking‘ workshops to inspire awareness of “human centered design” to address issues of empathy, ideation, and prototyping in problem-solving or challenge-driven moments.

One of these challenges was for participants to construct a self-portrait using supplied LEGO parts, with only 10 minutes to go from concept to completion – with discussion afterwards for each participant to discuss their thought process, material limitations, etc.

Renne Castro (Computer Science) contemplates his LEGO avatar.

A workshop later in the day provided 30 minutes to challenge the participants to construct a balloon-powered vehicle with little more than supplied materials and whatever else they could find around the facility.

The initial group of Faculty Fellows associated with the project come from various disciplines across the arts & sciences at Queens College (typically ‘STEM,’ or, preferably ‘STEAM’-aligned studies) who either already are or will be folding in making & design thinking components into their curriculum.

We’ll be talking about these courses, these professors, and hopefully the students involved with our research questions and applications in the years to come. For now congrats to the core team for their initial launch event during these transitional times, and stay tuned for more Make STEAM Q at Queens College (and from our partners at NYSCI in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park)!

group photo
Group photo from the kickoff event of Make STEAM Q on Saturday, November 20, 2021.
Standing (left to right): Nick Normal, Bradley Bergey, Allan Edmond, Larry Liebovitch, Nathalia Holtzman, Christopher Hanusa, Sabrina Avila, James Mellone, Corinna Singleman, Jose Sanchez, Al-karim Gangji, Kevin Hernandez
Kneeling (left to right): Renne Castro, William Blanford, Trevor Taylor, Matthew Greco, Danne Woo

(Classes currently associated with the project include: ARTS 282, ARTS 369, CSCI 100, DESN 214, DESN 265, DESN 270, ENSCI 112, MATH 128, MATH 250, PHYS 008, & PHYS 014)