For those of you that do not know me well I do have a day job. I work 30 hours a week at Archimedes Inc. I have worked with Archimedes for six years and am lead of Healthcare Processes Modeling along with lead of Quality Control of each version of the Simulator released. My days are filled with math, stats, programming and clinical trial design. I have a BSc in applied mathematics with a minor in biology from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
When my technical and artistic worlds cross people are always surprised and then wonder how I’m thinking in each sphere and if the two fields are related. I would say so.
The most obvious common component of my technical and artistic development is problem solving. The way to be efficient and novel is to be constantly looking from a different perspective. If you can see problems in different lights then you can see their solutions quicker and in ways others have not.
More interesting though is how both fields play at the intersection of chaos and order. Think fractals. I think about math as a way to give order to a chaotic system. The best of mathematics describes a very complex system or phenomenon with a beautifully simple equation. My art also plays at this intersection.
My beaded works makes designs from chaos and chaos from patterns.
For instance, the amethyst piece below uses a chaotic bit of bead work to sculpt the larger design of the piece. A friend once asked if this chaotic beadwork was “random.” Without thinking I said yes but I spoke too soon. On a micro scale it is random. But as I move along the piece and create movement in form and colors nothing is random. It is calculated and often difficult – mostly difficult because the components used to construction are these chaotic little bits of beadwork.
In other work I start from a pattern and then build off of it in an orderly way that creates a chaotic look. Several of my pieces have a neat woven back and are a sea of action in the front. Below is a piece in progress that is an example. There are over 6,600 beads in this piece and while the front looks chaotic there is a clear formula for its creation.
In conclusion, yes, my careers in mathematics and art are related. I am attracted to both fields for similar reasons and I navigate both fields in a similar manor. However both require very different skill sets and I’m grateful to have the opportunities to develop both.