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Shifting Ammann in Brightest Orange


The Mathematics Learning Success Center is a great place for students to get help with their math homework, join a study group for an upcoming exam, or work on ALEKS modules in the computer lab.  While tutoring labs are often imagined as dreary and dark rooms, the MLSC can change your perspective.  The space is welcoming and bright, with an abundance of windows and glass walls.

With the goal of incorporating math into the design, the MLSC has added a mathematical art piece to the center. Designed by Edmund Harriss, Shifting Ammann in Brightest Orange was unveiled on March 29th with a talk by the artist. The Department of Mathematics Head, Dr. Bus Jaco, President Hargis, and Provost Sandefur, gave comments.

Dr. Edmund Harriss of the University of Arkansas personified his art. Funny and approachable, the mathematician described what he hopes to achieve with all of his projects; to deliver the slightly impenetrable mathematics in ways that people can appreciate them. Whether this is done by introducing fun and toy-like Curvahedra as a way to expose 7 and 8 year olds to graduate level concepts or demonstrating the mathematics behind a fascinatingly beautiful piece of wall art.

While the name of the piece, Shifting Amman in Brightest Orange, appears abstract at first glance it is as calculated as the mathematics that composes it. Dr. Harriss broke down the name:

Shifting– There is an underlying pattern with another pattern on top that is slowly shifting throughout the piece.

Ammann- Taken from the Amman-Beenker tiling that works its way through the piece. This takes 2 shapes (rhombus and square) and expands them putting the central motif onto itself on many different scales.  

Brightest Orange- Oklahoma State University is America’s Brightest Orange and that decided the piece’s color.

Everyone who spoke at the unveiling appreciated what cross-disciplinary understanding and collaboration can do for the arts and mathematics. Even further, how the two may not be separate entities at all. The MLSC looks forward to adding more artistic expressions of mathematical concepts in the future.