I was invited by Michele Emmer to give
two lectures and two workshops in Italy in March 2006.
The lectures were at the Matematica e Cultura Conference
in Venice and then the University
of Rome, "La Sapienza"
. Above you can see the result of a public
polytope construction I led at an outdoors workshop in the Campo Sant'
Angelo, one of the city squares in Venice. We built a plastic model of
the "expanded 120-cell"---a three-dimensional shadow of an interesting
four-dimensional object. (hi-res image
At the start of the construction, the
parts are in
these bags on this table.
We got to work assembling various modules.
Above is the center module, a regular dodecahedron.
Here you can see an assortment of modules arranged on the pavement.
The modules are then assembled in a specific arrangement.
Many people can work on it from all sides. It gets more intricate as we
add additional layers.
The final result is rather attractive.
At one point, the local police investigated. Apparently polizia find
public polyopes funny.
The Venetian assembly, above, was on
sunday morning, March 26. That afternoon, we disassembled it, and in
the evening I brought the parts by train down to Rome. The next
morning, I led another assembly of the same structure, this time with
math and architecture students of the University of Rome. We
worked in the court yard of the mathematics building, "Guido
Again, the process begins with various modules.
These are assembled around a central core.
It grows more interesting with additional layers.
Some students found a new way to attach the top components.
Here is the final result. Later we brought it inside for display.
Thank you Michele Emmer and Piero
Negrini for making my trip and the construction
And thank you Zometool for providing the parts.