The Octahedral Group

Math + Art. Abstract Idea + Concrete Representation. Learning + Interaction.

These things don't always go together, but we believe that they should.

The Octahedral Group is a San Francisco-based group that runs hands-on workshops and interactive meet-ups aimed at exploring the fun and beautiful side of mathematics, science, and technology.

Math + Art

Who is the Octahedral Group for?

The Octahedral Group is for people who experience true joy through mathematics, and express that joy through sculpture, dance, music, poetry, or any other artistic medium. We believe that mathematics is beautiful and that there are other ways to experience and celebrate it than the tedious strategies standard in schools.

Many Octahedral Group participants will already know what a rhombic triacontahedron is, have opinions about it, and are wondering why a group called the Octahedral Group just gave an example with icosahedral symmetry. The ones who don't would like to learn, preferably by doing something like folding one out of business cards.

We are a group of mostly adults, and many of our workshops assume some maturity and mathematical understanding. Younger people are welcome, but we can't promise that our workshops will be right for you.

If this sounds like you, please sign up now!

Abstract Idea + Concrete Representation

What kinds of things happen at Octahedral Group meetings?

Our events explore ideas such as orderly zip-tie tangling, mathematical balloon twisting, polyhedral flipbook drawing, geometric cookie baking, and math dance parties with ribbons, braids, and binary. Join us and contribute your own ideas!

When do we meet?

Most meetings are on Sunday afternoons, but events sometimes occur at other times. We have limited space and closed meetings, so please sign up to learn more.
Learning + Interaction

Why do we require an application?

Our meetings are mostly lay-led and, optimally, we would like to be in a situation where every participant contributes both as a participant and as a leader in some activity. The application is short and lets us know what you hope to learn from and contribute to the Octahedral Group.

Who are we?

Andrea Hawksley is a software developer and geometer. She loves re-imagining the world in a way that is a little more structured, much more symmetrical, and perhaps quite a bit surprising. She has run interactive workshops on math and art for the Educational Studies Program and at the Bridges Math Art Conference. Her art has been displayed at the Fuller Craft Museum, the Wiesner Student Art Gallery, the Origami USA convention, the East Bay Origami Convention, and the Bridges Art Exhibition. She designed and constructed the sand-pinski triangle and hair tie 120-cell seen above.

Gwen Fisher, Ph.D., is a mathematical artist specializing in weaving beads and other textile arts. She enjoys representing mathematical concepts in tangible forms. She is a former tenured professor of mathematics at Cal Poly, SLO, and retired from her position in 2007 to work full time on her art. She is considered an innovator in mathematical bead weaving and has had her work published in several relevant journals and magazines. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts.

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