This is a past event

Tensegrities: linear algebra as art?

Jessica Sidman (Amherst College)

Abstract: Kenneth Snelson's beautiful tensegrity sculptures feature metal bars that seem to float magically in the air.  In this talk I'll try to convince you that a tensegrity is the physical manifestation of a linear dependence relation on the rows of a matrix.  Then I'll discuss how the mathematics used to describe tensegrities can also be used to study other disparate problems including sensor network localization, the rigidity of bar-and-joint frameworks, and the distributed control of formations of robots.Speaker bio:  Jessica Sidman loves to work on pure and applied problems at the intersection of computational algebra, algebraic geometry, and combinatorics. Her recent work in rigidity theory combines aspects of these three fields, and all got started when an undergraduate doing a thesis on protein folding asked her a question about projective space. She got her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and did postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley and UMass Amherst.  She was the Professor of Mathematics on the John Stewart Kennedy Foundation at Mount Holyoke College and is now a Professor of Mathematics at Amherst College.

4:00pm talk in SMUD 206; 3:45pm refreshments in SMUD 208

Contact Info

Kathy Glista
(413) 542-2100
Please call the college operator at 413-542-2000 or e-mail if you require contact info