As the editor-in-chief of the Make: website, I got to help develop column ideas and work with some amazing contributors. One of these was the brilliant George Hart (father of Vi Hart) from the Museum of Mathematics. After George left the museum, Glen Whitney took over the column. They both did an amazing job at demonstrating mathematical concepts in the most entertaining ways, using everyday objects and maker-made creations. You can see all of the installments of the series here.
Here is the briefest of samplings. The column ran (on and off) for eight years.
A mathematical haircut makes an unambiguous statement to the world that you love math. Here, Nick Sayers is sporting a rhombic coiffure with interesting geometric properties.
The obtuse angles of each rhombus meet in groups of three, but the acute angles meet in groups of five, six, or seven, depending on the curvature. In the flatter areas, they meet in groups of six, like equilateral triangles, and in the areas of strong positive curvature they meet in groups of five, but in the negatively curved saddle at the back of the neck, there is a group of seven.
To make your own, Nick suggests you use a rhombic paper template starting at the crown, work outwards, and make aesthetic decisions about the 5-, 6-, or 7-way joints depending on local curvature. This instance of the design was cut by Hannah Barker after a test version a couple of months earlier by Summer Makepeace. Read the rest