Math + Making

A student blog for Math 189AH: Making Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College

Making Mathematics with King

King Osei

Making Math offered me a very new experience in a Mudd class that I appreciate. I worked on 5 projects throughout the semester and used a couple of new technologies. In the last project, I went back to do a bit more wood technology. Here are the details of each project:


Mandelbrot set

The first project that I worked on in this class was focused on using the PIL library in Python to draw the Mandelbrot set. Then, to create an interactive result, used Tkinker as a GUI to help zoom into the fractile produced just by clicking certain parts of the image. It was the first time using the PIL library and Tkinker. We explored complex numbers in this project. Looking forward, I would like to explore more uses of the PIL library; it seemed multifunctional from the documentation

Project 0B

Mandelbrot Set + Pinhole camera

The second project was trying to understand what other people did for the first project. I worked with Ashrit on his pinhole camera project and I helped him with the mandelbrot set generation I worked on earlier. I didn’t use new technology on this project.

Project 1

Tangram set

Visiting the woodshop for the first time, we wanted to make a basic tangram wooden set puzzle piece. We made use of the bandsaws for the first time. We used this project to understand the conservation of volume. In the future, I would like to explore how 3D tangram will work, that could be fun.

Project 2


Inspired by the exhibitions at the Wendell Museum, we wanted to make some harmonograph artwork. At first, we wanted to build the harmonograph, but later, we decided to work on the Axidraw instead. We made use of the Axidraw pen plotter technology for the first time on this project. We used this project to understand Lissajous curves. 

Project 3

Hexagon shelves

We visited the woodshop for the second time, this time to make wooden shelves. We attempted to make a beehive-inspired shelve by arranging together similar hexagons to fill up space. We made use of some familiar technology such as the table saw. We used this project to explore hexagonal tilings and the concept of squaring the square. The shelves are mostly done; I plan to install them in my newly acquired single dorm room next semester!


I had fun in this class. For the first time in my Mudd life, I started using the woodshop! I also learned how to use the table saw, the band saw, wood glue, and other wood technology. 

Outside of the woodshop, I have learned how to use the Axidraw penplotter and the PIL library in Python.  I believe this class has enabled me to appreciate little crafts and that would be something I want to carry on into next semester. I will attempt to make for myself any of the cool little household dorm items that can easily be made in the maker space. The overall process is also very fun.


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