Author Archives: hawksley

2nd Annual CDG-GDC Palindrome Party

7:07 on March 1st at CDG (sunday evening before GDC)

Come join us for an evening of casual palindromic fun, symmetry, and mathy games. We will walk backwards, listen to reversed music, and drink regal lager.

Price of admission: one palindrome of your own invention, or palindrome-inspire symmetryish thing (mirror symmetry artwork, food with a palindromic name, etc).

Also bring your mathy-arty-inspired games and demos. Feel free to bring friends, but they must bring their own palindrome thing!


Networking policy: In order to keep our sanity, especially in the days surrounding GDC, we ask that no non-consensual networking or business inquiries take place during magical palindromic happy times.

Hart Art for Valentine’s Day

Join us on February 14th for a special Octahedral Group meeting featuring special guest George Hart ( He will be running a geometric sculpture workshop. This should be a great workshop for math art newbies, so feel free to bring your date!*

What: Hart Art!
When: Saturday, February 14th from 2-6pm

*Newbie-ness and date-ness optional. Everyone should come!

Topologically Interesting Felt

Math never felt so good.

Come learn how to build mathematical objects made out of felt. Beginner felters and beginner math artists welcome!

You can render your favorite topologically interesting surface using sheep’s wool felted over a scaffold made from fabric or yarn. Möbius-type bands and Seifert surfaces are also nicely represented in felt because handmade felt has no seams, and it’s very strong and flexible. So you can fiddle with and twist your objects into a variety of configurations without the felt tearing.


You can also create “wire” frames like the edges of a hypercube or a hyperbolic tiling.


Gwen Fisher is our resident mathematical felting expert; the above pictures are hers. Materials and tools will be provided.

What: Topologically interesting felt
When: 2-5:30pm on Sunday, January 11th

Kaleidoscope Party

Sunday the 20th of July at 1pm.

You’re probably familiar with the standard kaleidoscope mirror construction, but there’s so many more possibilities, from different geometries to kinetic kaleidoscope sculpture.

If you like looking at stuff through mirrory mirrors, come see the latest in cutting edge kaleidoscopic technology with special guests Ned Greene and John Edmark, who are bringing physical kaleidoscopes like you’ve never seen before!

We’ll also play with digital kaleidoscopes on the big screen, and do kaleidoscopic audio experiments. There will be beer and oranges. There may be kaleidoscopic video and picture taking. It will also be necessary to create a human kaleidoscope.

If you have a kaleidoscope or something mirrory to share, physical or digital, bring it along! Also bring your friends. This event will be particularly welcoming towards newcomers.

Slices vs Shadows

June 1st the epic battle between Slices and Shadows commences, and all are invited to witness the carnage.
Who will prevail: the perfect sword of exact yet partial truth, or the shining light that renders complete but warped shadow?
Is it better to completely understand a tiny section of a thing, or to see the big picture but only as an abstraction?
Marc ten Bosch returns with new ways to slice and dice your favorite polytopes, all from the comfort of our couch and his ipad!
On the other side of things, special guest Henry Segerman brings his convincing arguments for stereographic projection with awesome 3d-printed models of 3d and 4d shapes. See projection in action!
Support for projection comes from Andrea Hawksley, whose giant hair tie 120-cell boings in agreement.
But the projection camp, while large, contains inner dissent that threatens to tear them apart! Scott Vorthmann turns against his stereographic-loving colleagues, claiming: “Any right-thinking geometer must prefer orthographic (by definition).”
Whether you know all about slicing and projecting geometric objects or are learning for the first time, come pick a side (the more vitriol the better), and bring something slice or shadow-related for everyone to enjoy. This can be either a mathematical art interpretation, or anything involving the idea of slices or shadows.

Geometry Party

If you could build anything, what would it be?
A Sierpinski triangle or binary tree?
Would you make a polygon or a polyhedron,
Or ambitiously generate a Zometool polychoron?
Perhaps you’d use cards or bubbles or strings,
To create an abundance of all kinds of things.
For geometric constructions, we have all the elements.
We just need your insight on April the 27th.

Come make geometry with us in SoMa on April 27th from 1-5pm. Bring your favorite geometric building kit or just an idea for something that you’d like to build. We will kick off with a build of a 24-cell (our favorite polychoron with octahedral cells) out of Zometool.

Sign up to learn more!

Octahedral Objects

Omy goodness! It’s finally time to celebrate Octahedral Geometry with the Octahedral Group.

Come join us at 3pm on the 30th day of the 3rd month to celebrate our favorite symmetry group with 3 uniform colorings. To get us started, Jeremy Shafer will be teaching an octahedral origami model.

Our octahedral objects will also be built from beads, balloons, and bananas.

Bring something octahedral or something that we can try to make an octahedron from. Join our group for more details.

Palindrome Party!

We hope you don’t have aibohphobia because the next Octahedral Group Event is a Palindrome Party on March 16th.

Whether you arrive in a toyota or a kayak, from Navan, Renner, or Tumut, leave your doom mood behind and get stuck in our party trap along with so many dynamos.

We’ll do palindromic dancing to palindromic music and reversed-pop-songs, or solos by an avid diva, or late metal. We will play games forwards and backwards. We’ll dress in ways that flaunt our mirror symmetry, or wear spacecaps.

Price of admission: one palindrome or palindrome-inspired-thing of your own invention for other people to enjoy. It can be a straight-up new palindrome, or something reversible on some level, or a piece of art with mirror symmetry, or a piece of palindromic music you’ve created, or video, or anything you can think of that would be fun to share.

Want to come? Have a great mathematical art idea? Sign up to get more details about our group.

Binary Math Dance Party

The Octahedral Group is a brand-new San Francisco-based math/art group for people who experience true joy through mathematics, and express that joy through sculpture, dance, music, poetry, or any other artistic medium. We’re not exactly sure what we’re going to turn into yet, but that’s not going to stop us from getting started!

Our first event is going to be a “Math Dance Party” on the afternoon of February 23rd in SoMa, consisting of math-dance workshops followed by unstructured social dance time. Come experiment with mathematicaldance with us, and meet other mathematical art enthusiasts in the area! No special dance skills required.

Join our group to learn more!