A few weeks ago we attended a talk by Henry Segerman and learned about “Hypercube B” by Bathsheba Grossman. We ended up buying a copy from Shapeways and did a couple of projects on this version of the hypercube:
We have also explored some of Grossman’s work when we bought Segerman’s new book on math and 3d printing:
The new version of the hypercube really captured my imagination and I played around a bit and built a version from our Zometool set:
For our project today I asked the boys to try to build a copy of “Hypercube B” from our Zometool set. They worked independently (though in the same room) and built versions.
I talked to my younger son about his version first. Unfortunately it isn’t quite right, but I didn’t point that out to him in the video. Not sure if the mistake shows up clearly enough in the video, but it is a fun little extra challenge to try to see it. An even bigger challenge is to try to find the mistake in my version with the blue struts, though the perspective of the camera might actually completely hide my error.
[and, oh crud, watching the video right now I see that I made a super embarrassing mistake. I said “Goodman” not “Grossman” in the video. So sorry. Apologies to Grossman for that mistake (which is in both videos).]
Next up was my older son. His version of “Hypercube B” is also made out of yellow struts. His version is nearly a perfect copy of the original – the tiny discrepancy is that you don’t get the internal diamond that my younger son pointed out. I think, though, that this version might be the best you can do from Zome – it is certainly a much better model of the original than mine is.
This was a fun and also really challenging project. It is nice to hear kids try to describe these complex shapes and try to copy them. I love hearing about the different aspects of the shapes that catch their attention.