the story of spikey
May 21, 2019 12:23 PM   Subscribe

The Story of Spikey. Stephen Wolfram gives an account of the origin and evolution of Mathematica's logo, touching upon geometry, paper sculptures, Kepler, and Brazilian folk art, among other themes.
posted by dhruva (5 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Very cool story, thanks!

I could have sworn I made a rhombic hexecontahedron among the many I built from Magnus Wenninger's polyhedron books many years back, but apparently not. Time to fetch my trusty x-acto knife...
posted by AbnerRavenwood at 1:42 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]

What a gorgeous shape.
posted by painquale at 1:50 PM on May 21

I love that he investigated the Brazilian mother-to-daughter origin of the shape just as earnestly as the European mathematician/philosopher origins you might be forgiven for expecting. It's telling that only one of those traditions gets recorded consistently.

Also, I didn't make the connection between the Mathematica "Spiky" logo and Penrose tiling, though I've certainly stared at both long enough.
posted by Eleven at 2:31 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]

Those polyhedral koalas that his daughter made bear a certain family resemblance.
posted by rollick at 6:43 AM on May 22

What a delightfully satisfying article!
posted by phenylphenol at 5:56 AM on May 23

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