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Minimal Snow

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Author:Ivars Peterson (MathTrek)
Description: For a truly cool experience, there's nothing like transforming a 12-foot, 20-ton block of manufactured snow into a giant sculpture. That's the premise underlying the Breckenridge snow sculpture championships in Colorado, held annually in January. This year, the international competition featured 15 four-member teams representing 10 countries. It also had a striking mathematical component. Noted mathematical sculptor Helaman Ferguson, joined by math professors Dan Schwalbe and Stan Wagon (see Riding on Square Wheels) and student Tamas Nemeth of Macalester College, labored intensively to carve a minimal geometric structure known as the Costa surface...

Levels: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Differential Geometry, Art

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