Science Cafe Dec – Knotty Sculptures

East Bay Science Cafe

Knotty Sculptures

with Prof. Carlo H. Séquin

EECS Computer Science Division, UC Berkeley

Thursday December 12, 2019

Doors at 6:00 PM, Talk at 7:00 PM

Cafe Leila, 1724 San Pablo Ave. Berkeley, CA
Join us at Cafe Leila on San Pablo Avenue for an evening of science, conversation, and community.
We’re grateful to Cafe Leila for hosting our series. Please show your support by enjoying their delicious cuisine, artisanal teas, fine coffee drinks, and more! BYOB (wine and beer) is welcome with purchase of any menu item.
The talk will start with a gentle introduction to mathematical knots and ways to describe and classify all possible knots. It will then focus on ways to turn such knots into attractive, abstract geometrical sculptures, using various computer-aided design tools. In one approach, a suitable cross section is swept along the knot-curve, possibly twisting and turning as it moves along this way. In another approach, a thin wire-configuration of the knot is used to define the edge of a nicely balanced minimal surface. This is equivalent to dipping the wire knot into a soap solution, and then observing the intriguingly complex soap-film surfaces that might form.

Knotty Sculptures

Prof. Carlo H. Séquin

Prof. Emeritus Carlo H. Séquin received his Ph.D. in experimental physics from the University of Basel, Switzerland, 1969. Subsequent work at the Institute of Applied Physics in Basel concerned interface physics of MOS transistors and problems of applied electronics in the field of cybernetic models. From 1970-1976 he worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J., on the design and investigation of Charge-Coupled Devices for imaging and signal processing applications. At Bell Labs he also got introduced to the world of Computer Graphics in classes given by Ken Knowlton. In 1977 he joined the faculty in the EECS Department at Berkeley. He started out by teaching courses on the subject of very large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits, thereby trying to build a bridge between the CS division and the EE faculty. In the early 1980’s, jointly with David Patterson he introduced the `RISC’ concept to the world of microcomputers. He was head of the Computer Science Division from 1980 till 1983. Dr. Séquin is a Fellow of the ACM, a Fellow of the IEEE, and has been elected to the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences.  

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