The Ideal Vacuum: Visual Metaphors for Algebraic Concepts

Jessica K. Sklar
Bridges Donostia: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2007)
Pages 241–246


In this paper, we discuss a series of photographs, created by Shawna Holman, Matthew Fishburn, and myself, that present visual metaphors for abstract algebraic concepts. The series has a two-fold purpose: first, to be available as a learning aid for abstract algebra students, and second, to be a work of art that can perhaps engage the general public in conversations about higher-level mathematics. We provide some examples from the series, and discuss the various ways in which we are sharing our vision.