Versatile Genius: A Case Study Intersecting Math, Science, Art, and California's National Parks

Leslie Love Stone and Christopher S. Brownell
Proceedings of Bridges 2017: Mathematics, Art, Music, Architecture, Education, Culture
Pages 221–228 Regular Papers


The advantages of a polymathic approach are remarkable: it cross-pollinates ideas, encourages creativity, defines new methodologies, and solves complex problems. Interdisciplinarity also presents challenges. In this case study, which intersects math, science, and art, we describe how a project can benefit from a respect for the rigors, focus, and coherence of multiple disciplines. Although most interdisciplinary projects are dominated by a particular field (in point of view, level of expertise, and disciplinary significance), this does not preclude a project's author-maker from complying with the standards of the component disciplines. The author-maker of the project described in this case study is a professional artist who holds a decidedly mathematical point of view. The art, which is created with a high degree of disciplinary proficiency, predominates; and although elementary, the math is no less legitimate.