Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Still Life with Mathematics

   The title of this blog post, "Still Life with Mathematics" is also the title of a mixed media artwork by Pacific Lutheran University math professor Jessica Sklar and displayed in Mathematical Art Galleries for the 2022 Joint Mathematics Meetings.  Included in the art (which Sklar describes as a tribute to her dissertation advisor and to mathematics) is Sklar's poem, "Disciple" -- first published here in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics in 2017 and offered below;  Sklar describes it as "a love poem for mathematics."

     Disciple     by Jessica K. Sklar

     And when they ask why I love you,
     I divulge: in your universe,
     normality is special, naturality
     is contrived, fields can be infinite
     and singularities are as commonplace
     as odd primes.    

                    I embrace,
     cloistered, your level curves,
     your succulent patois,
     your lattices begging
     for inversion, your fat phis
     and eely xis, the pleasure of being bound
     by constraints.

                    Absurd and precise,
     like the language of a wary lover's hands,
     you are reluctant to be laid
     bare; but oh, how you may be coaxed into revealing
     such surprising
     and such wondrous

Sklar also is one of the creators involved in the Mathemalchemy project: over 30 mathematicians, artists, and fabricators, who, under the leadership of Duke mathematical physicist Ingrid Debauchies and Montreal-based fiber artist Dominique Ehrmann, worked together to create a large multimedia art installation that celebrates the creativity and beauty of mathematics. 

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