4D Mathematical Model Construction

Prof. George Hart

On monday, March 28, 2005, dozens of students (and a few faculty) helped me assemble this beautiful mathematical model in the Stony Brook Student Center Lobby. This large construction is almost 2 meters in diameter and made from over ten thousand small plastic parts. It is a three-dimensional shadow of a four-dimensional object sometimes known as the runci-truncated 600-cell.  But you don't have to understand what that means in order to see how beautiful it is.

We started assembly about 10:00 AM.

We had to make 75 modules in five different shapes.

Each module is a kind of rhombicosidodecahedron.

Most of the modules are larger than a watermelon, but some are completely flat.

Volunteers came and went with classes, but usually there were about fifteen people working.

Then we began to assemble the modules together with pentagonal prisms.

We added the final parts around 2:00, so the total time was under four hours.

Here is the group present at the end.  Thank you everyone who helped!

It was on display for 2 hours.  The 5-fold axis view is most impressive.

Sadly, we had to dismantle it. Disassembly and sorting parts took 50 minutes.

Thank you Zometool and Dan Duddy for loaning all the parts for this event.

If you enjoy this sort of thing, see last semester's "sculpture barn raising",
and send me an email if you want to be notified of future assemblies.

Click here for a hi-res image of the model.