Nitan Avivi (fourth-year undergraduate), Constellation I from the series Constellations of Mathematics, 2020, digital print on paper, 15" x 19" unframed, 16" x 20" framed

Chloe Miller (first-year undergraduate), Constellation III from the series Constellations of Mathematics, 2020, digital print on paper, 15" x 19" unframed, 16" x 20" framed

Creativity Counts: Possibilities Shaped by Constraints of Arithmetic

April 10, 2021 to July 11, 2021

Mathematicians explore what is possible within the constraints of mathematics, analogous to how a dancer moves within a body’s biomechanical limits, or a ceramicist works within the properties and capacities of clay. Creativity Counts: Possibilities Shaped by Constraints of Arithmetic, featuring work by UO students and faculty, shares the visual beauty and aesthetically pleasing patterns of abstract mathematics. For those who view mathematics as inaccessible, when they come upon the exhibition at the JSMA, they may think about the subject in new ways.

E. E. Eischen, a UO Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, developed a new undergraduate course offered spring term 2020—Math and the creative process: A participatory exploration of number theory. This project-based class immerses students in creative, abstract problem-solving, with an emphasis on developing skills to explore and communicate about pure mathematics. For their final project, students produced two-dimensional visualizations of topics related to number theory, an area of mathematics whose aesthetic properties captivated people for over 2000 years before significant applications were discovered. Today, number theory enables secure transmission of data, for example at the ATM and over the internet.  Independent of applications, though, number theory continues to entice mathematicians, and modern technology has enabled them to continue to gain new visual insights, some of which will be exhibited at the JSMA.

In addition to the students’ final projects printed on metal, acrylic, and paper, the exhibition features works made by members of UO’s Department of Mathematics. Each work will be accompanied by a QR code linking the image to more information. Creativity Counts: Possibilities Shaped by Constraints of Arithmetic is made possible by support from the Williams Fund and NSF CAREER grant DMS-1751281.

Online Resources
Creativity Counts Virtual Tour
http://pages.uoregon.edu/eeischen/CreativityCounts/ 

Upcoming Events:
Creativity Counts: Math + Art
Wednesday, May 26 - 4:00 p.m.
Register Now
Why and how did a group of undergraduate mathematics students and mathematicians create an exhibition in an art museum? In this presentation and chat with the public, UO Professor E. E. Eischen will introduce an aesthetic side of mathematics and a project to share it more broadly. Joined by undergraduates from the Math and the Creative Process class, whose works are exhibited in Creativity Counts at the JSMA, Eischen will survey this project's life, from its conception to its appearance in the museum (and its enhancement using approaches from improvisational theater). Q and A to follow. This event is for everyone!