Professor of Mathematics Susan Goldstine has been invited by the Gathering 4 Gardner Foundation to give a “celebration of mind” online presentation at noon on January 21, 2021. She will give a talk entitled “Maps of Strange Worlds: Beyond the Four-Color Theorem” that features a selection of her mathematical artworks along with their theoretical and historical context.
According to Goldstine’s abstract, in 1852, a math student posed a deceptively simple-sounding question: if you want to color a map so that bordering regions always have different colors, how many colors do you need? This opened a rabbit hole that has kept mathematicians, computer scientists, and philosophers occupied for over a century, igniting a fundamental debate about how we know what is true. The central result of this exploration is the Four-Color Theorem.
For the past decade, Goldstine’s artworks have appeared in mathematical art exhibits across the US and around the world. Together with computer scientist and artist Ellie Baker, she is coauthor of the 2014 book “Crafting Conundrums: Puzzles and Patterns for the Bead Crochet Artist,” which collects their extensive research on mathematical bead crochet.