News-In-Brief: Rob Fahey to Air Interviews This Week

On Tuesday, April 17, Rob Fahey, formerly of a member of the Ravyns and currently a member of the Pieces, came to campus and played a set for a small audience on the Campus Center patio. Fahey performed a number of songs, beginning with a cover of the Beatles’ song, “Blackbird.” Also included in his set list were original songs from his solo career (such as “Waiting to Live,” “October Changes,” “Ghost Stories,” and “Home”), as well as songs from the Ravyns (including “Raised on the Radio,” from the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack) and the Pieces. In addition, Fahey covered songs by two additional artists, Pink Floyd and Buffalo Springfield.

Junior Matt Anthony, exec board member for the HAWK Radio, interviewed Rob Fahey on the campus radio station, and plans to air the interview on Wednesday, April 25, and Friday, April 27, at 11 a.m. The interview can be accessed online at More information on Rob Fahey, including a performance schedule, a timeline of his career, and photos, can be found at

Students, Staff Protest in Living Rage Rally

On Friday afternoon, April 13, a crowd of students, faculty, and staff members marched across campus to raise awareness about how staff members at the College are not receiving a living wage. The members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) called the rally “Living Rage.”

“This march is to show how serious we are,” said senior Caroline Selle, one of the campaign organizers for the rally. “We are here to show how students and staff are in solidarity with each other… We need to see concrete action from the administration and we need to see proof of it. And that’s something we haven’t seen yet…We haven’t seen it to the necessary extent.”

“[President Urgo] literally did not mention living wage once during the Board of Trustees meeting,” said senior Kevin Paul, another campaign organizer. “His stance has pretty much been dismissive of the entire issue. He’s been kicking the can down the road for too long. He has a lot of power, and we have a lobbyist in Annapolis. Why aren’t we using [the lobbyist] to fix the impasse [Urgo’s] been talking about?”

“As you may know from recent news reports, the State of Maryland is at a budgetary impasse which directly affects the budget of the College and, specifically, its authority to increase salaries,” said Urgo in a recent all-student email. “While the College has budgeted for salary increases in FY13 (the budget year that begins on July 1, 2012), no definitive action can be taken until the College receives appropriate authorization.”

“Once the State gives us the green light, our designated [American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)] union representatives will meet with us to discuss wage increases,” said Urgo. “We remain dedicated to increase employee wages that have not increased during the salary freeze and intend to do so once we receive clearance from the State.”

“I thought it was really telling that President Urgo desperately was trying to organize a meeting with students yesterday primarily because he didn’t understand what we said we’d be protesting,” said Selle in reference to the email. “Students have offered to lobby on the state level, which is incredible initiative, while the administration has not moved it forward much at all. Most of the information in the email is accurate, but the administration has not been doing enough to put pressure on our decision-makers at the state level to make it possible for us to pay our staff better.”

“We’re angry and frustrated that all of our good intentions and enthusiasm have just been sort of ignored,” said another campaign organizer, senior Emily Saari. “I think we’ve done all the necessary research and we’ve tried really hard to work with [the administration]… We wanted this to be a community dialogue for as long as possible but it’s just not working anymore.”

There have been talks amongst SDS members that one of the reasons why the administration is not taking any action is because most of the heads of SDS and the campaign are seniors.

“The administration sees that it’s April and they can wait until graduation and this issue will die out,” said Saari. “But we’ve been talking to underclassmen and future [Student Government Association] executive board members and we’re not thinking this is going to end at the end of this semester.”

“What we’ve learned is when we have meetings with the administration, we’re not taken seriously,” said senior John Mumby. “Last time there was a substantial raise, it was when students occupied [the president’s] office. We’ve only just now been taken seriously. Something like this is a last resort. But if this is what it takes to make sure people are getting paid what they deserve… then we’ll be at Urgo’s open hour every [Wednesday] at one.”

A staff member present at the rally said he was there for the sake of “fairness.” He continued by saying, “[The administrators] all have found ways every year to gives raises… except not to the people who are the poorest on this campus… I’ve said from the beginning that this is for all staff. If it’s a pay freeze for everyone, then it should be for everyone, not just for certain [people].”

Students congregated outside the Bike Shop in Waring Commons at 2:45 p.m. and then began their march across campus to Urgo’s office in Calvert Hall. Members of the crowd were holding large cardboard signs advocating for the living wage and support for the staff. Senior Johanna Galat, another campaign manager, led the march with a megaphone. She led various chants like, “One, two, three, four, no one should be working poor. Five, six, seven, eight, show who we appreciate.” One chant that particularly stood out was, “Hey Urgo, hey Tom, your budget makes us wanna vom.”

As the students marched by the Waring Commons parking lot, a staff member called out to the crowd, wishing she could join the march, “I wish I didn’t have to work. I’m so impressed right now.”

As the crowd moved across campus, various students joined in. Some could not join for various reasons but applauded the crowd as it went by. On the way past Montgomery Hall, junior Gino Hannah joined the crowd with his tuba, adding some music to the chants.

Friday, April 13 was Accepted Students Day, so many future St. Mary’s students were present to see the political activism that occurs on campus.

Galat stopped the crowd at Kent Hall to speak to them and explain again why they were marching. Public Safety officers and Director of Public Safety Dave Zylak stood by. Paul stood before the crowd and read some anonymous staff member testimonies, showing how staff often do not have enough money to afford basic living expenses.

Some of the testimonies said that staff members are forced to use vacation days on snow days when the college is closed because they cannot safely travel to work. One staff member said in a testimonial, “The way they have doled out raises is reprehensible.”

After the testimonials, Galat led the crowd to the front steps of Calvert to continue to rally and get Urgo’s attention.

Various students and staff members present took turns speaking out to the crowd. “The state has given us roadblocks, but we are looking for detours,” said senior Glenn Razafindrainibe to the crowd. “We want to find a way around the freeze.”

Kathy Lewin, Office Associate II, stepped in frond of the crowd to say, “You guys rock!”

“We’re not going to stop,” said first-year Abiola Akanni, “I’m a first-year and I will keep fighting until I’m a senior.”

After the crowd had been chanting outside of Calvert for a while, President Urgo came outside and addressed the crowd. Amidst frequent interruptions and chants from the crowd, he urged students to write to state legislative members to work on the budget because he personally is not allowed to bargain by state law.

“I do respect what you’re doing here,” said Urgo, “You can do things as students that I cannot do as the President.”

After the speech, a union representative said in conversation about Urgo, “I don’t think he’s being fast and loose with the facts.”

The union representative also explained how there are three different types of raises: cost of living increases, merit increases, and an increase caused by a reclassification. He stated that the raise that Laura Bayless, former Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, received was the result of a reclassification.

“If [the administration] wanted, they could reclassify every employee and give them a new title,” said the representative. When asked how he would reclassify the Caretakers, he said “well, make one up… like Recycling Technicians.”

According to administrators, Bayless’ title was changed from Dean of Students to Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students to reflect her increase in job responsibilities, which included increased involvement in Student Affairs.

Galat led the students to the boathouse and ended the rally there with more chants and cheers. “We hope to see you all at Urgo’s open hour,” said Galat as the rally came to an end.

Wiebers Awarded Fulbright to South Korea

It was announced on March 12 that Leon Wiebers, Assistant Professor of Theater, Film, and Media Studies (TFMS) and scenography, was awarded a Fulbright research grant for the 2012-2013 academic year. He will travel to Seoul, South Korea to work on his project, entitled “Traditional and Modern Modes in Dress for Performance,” at the Seoul Institute of the Arts.

The Fulbright Program is a federal foundation that awards grants to American scholars who will conduct research abroad, and in doing so will “promote understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries,” according to the press release on the St. Mary’s website. “It was a very formidable application process,” admitted Wiebers, who began the application in August 2011.

“My interest in Asian dress started with the kimono during my last couple of years as an undergraduate,” explained Wiebers. “It was a geometrical Asian dress. I love geometry, and that’s what drew me to it. I believe that the designs can be manipulated in new ways.”

The initial research for his project, Wiebers said, “had been going on intermittently since [he was] in grad school, for about ten to fifteen years.” The main goal of Wiebers’ research is to explore the diffusion of traditional Korean dance and theater in Western culture, and how the performance modes of Eastern and Western cultures overlap.

One of the goals of  his Fulbright award, Wiebers added, was “to work on an exchange program for Korean students to come to St. Mary’s and vice versa.”  By  visiting museums and collections of Korean artwork and dress, Wiebers said he will gain knowledge that will help him “offer coursework in a broader history of dress, and strengthen my collaboration with my colleagues in the Asian Studies department.”

Joanne Klein, the Department Chair of TFMS, echoed Wiebers’ expectations for the results of his academic experience.  “Professor Wiebers’s Fulbright award…will be especially opportune for our department, as we have an area of specialization in Asian performance studies that is enhanced by Professor Holly Blumner’s expertise in that curriculum, both in the classroom and on stage,” she said.

Klein also added that the department “just hired Professor Leonard Cruz to head up our dance/movement curriculum, and he brings a special focus on Pacific Rim performance. So we shall have a distinctive and vanguard program in Asian performance design, performance skills, and studies within our department.”

Wiebers hopes that working with a wide array of artists in South Korea will influence his design work and teaching. “I’m always trying to push myself as an artist,” he explained, “and this opportunity will be incredibly influential in how I approach my work.”

STARS and LGBTQ Celebrate Gaypril on Campus

This month Gaypril is being celebrated at St. Mary’s; it is a month that is dedicated to celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning and other non-heteronormative students through a number of outlets, including (though not necessarily limited to) movie screenings, speakers, and performances. This month, there have been – and will continue to be – a number of events alternatively sponsored by the St. Mary’s Triangle and Rainbow Society (STARS) and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Student Services. Though these groups are dedicated to the LGBTQ culture at St. Mary’s, they welcome students of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, regardless of whether or not they identify as LGBTQ.

The first event scheduled was meant to be was held on Friday, April 6, at 9 p.m., in DPC: the “Much Ado About Something Masquerave.” This was a formal dance celebrating LGBTQ culture at St. Mary’s; it was canceled, however, according to sophomore Will Moring, who had intended to attend.

On Wednesday, April 11, on the Campus Center patio, free t-shirts were distributed, and food and music were provided, from 11a.m. to 1:30 p.m. At 4:45, students returned for a group photo, wearing the shirts that had just been distributed – as well as other LGBTQ clothing – as a way of showing support for the LGBTQ community.

The final event, sponsored by LGBTQ Student Services, is a screening of the movie Pariah in Cole Cinema, on Tuesday, April 17, at 8 p.m. Pariah is a film that was directed by Dee Rees, released in 2011, and tells the story of a young African American woman, Alike (portrayed by Adepero Oduye) who is embracing her sexual identity as a lesbian. She lives with her parents and younger sister in Brooklyn, and her identity is a topic of discussion that causes tension in the household.

The film premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was given the award of Excellence in Cinematography, as well as some later awards, including Best Independent Film and Best Breakthrough Performance, given to Adepero Oduye. In addition to those awards, Dee Rees won Best Director and Best Original Screenplay from the Black Film Critics Circle. Soon after its premier at the Sundance Film Festival, Pariah was screened at a film festival in Toronto, in September 2011. With film critics and reporters saying that it argues good points, the film has, in general, received positive feedback and criticism.

Urban Trees, Human Impact on Nature

On Wednesday, April 4, Richard Olsen, a Research Geneticist from the National Arboretum, visited St. Mary’s to present his lecture called “The Urban Forest.” Olsen discussed the evolution of trees over the years in urban, rural, and suburban areas. This Natural Science and Mathematics (NS&M) Colloquium was co-sponsored by the St. Mary’s Arboretum Association.

“I’m trying to make this more of a philosophical, fun talk today,” began Olsen. His presentation consisted entirely of photographs as he spoke freely about them. He started off his lecture by talking about root systems of trees and how they work.

“After a storm, we see trees fall over, and we see a pancake of a root system,” he said about the structure of roots. Ninety percent of the root system of a tree is in the top 18 inches of the soil. He showed pictures of effective and ineffective ways of planting trees, and how ineffective ways can lead to girdling roots, which can ultimately kill a tree.

“We’re setting up our urban forest for disaster,” said Olsen as he showed pictures of trees planted directly below power lines. Their top branches will eventually have to be trimmed or cut off, which is not good for the tree.

Olsen explained that the 400 year old dogma of planting urban trees in symmetrical lines along the side of a road needs to be abandoned. Trees need more space to grow.

“We weren’t planting trees in cities until the 1600s,” said Olsen. This is because at that point in time, cities were smaller and usually surrounded by trees, so there was no reason to plant more of them in the city. Poplar trees were the first type of popular street trees in the United States. They symmetrically lined the original Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

Just like expecting them to be symmetrical in layout, building planners also expect trees to look the same. “If you grow things from seeds, you have all sort of different growth rates,” said Olsen. However, if clones are used, every tree grown from a clone will look exactly the same.

Olsen emphasized that planters need to be careful about where they plant trees and with what they surround the trees. Some trees grow best in a dry, arid area, while others are best in wet, swampy areas. For example, the weeping willow is healthiest when grown in a swampy area. Some trees grow steadily over time, while others spend years building up a root system and then suddenly shoot up out of the ground.

Human action widely determines the encouragement or elimination of a species, and humans have the power to lead to the extinction of a particular species of tree. “If you don’t think we’re not affecting pretty much the entire planet, just look at us at night,” said Olsen, showing the audience a nighttime satellite photograph of the Earth.

“Just the presence of all this concrete and asphalt… is affecting the climate,” said Olsen as he discussed how urban land cover can impact seasonal change.

“If you give trees the right space, they’ll grow for maybe 150 years,” concluded Olsen.

“I thought he was funny and was a great speaker, and he started off great with a focused topic on the impact we have on nature,” said senior Don Rees. “He progressed in a sensible way to trees in cities but then at the end just rattled off pictures and examples of trees in cities. He seemed excited but there was no deep analysis or discussion at this point, just a picture show. Overall, not bad but the ending needed work.”

“I agree with Don, it wasn’t the most organized colloquium I’ve seen,” said senior Julie Frank. “Though I really appreciated how excited and passionate he was about his work. Every picture he showed seemed to have a story behind it and a personal connection.”

Pam Cardwell Discusses Artwork Inspired By Travel

On Monday, April 9, Artist House Artist-in-Residence Pam Cardwell visited the library at the College to present her lecture, “On Art and Travel Throughout Turkey and the Caucasus Countries.” Cardwell discussed how her childhood and international travels have played a part in influencing the style of her abstract art.

Carrie Patterson, Associate Professor of Art, introduced Cardwell as “a gatherer of visual information and knowledge” who has “had a very hectic experience of St. Mary’s.” Over the two weeks before the lecture, Cardwell had been working with students in art classes and on her own art at the Artist House.

“I want to start by talking about where I grew up,” began Cardwell. She grew up in a very isolated area in West Virginia, without access to art museums. But she was exposed to a lot of the interesting and abstract patterns in quilts, as they were made by her grandmother. Cardwell is fascinated by the art of quilters because they are “so involved in the process.” They are not satisfied with the finished product and just keep creating new quilts.

Cardwell is further inspired by the light and natural shapes created by water and is an avid swimmer. She created a lot of paintings in the Dominican Republic from shapes she saw in the water, and is doing the same thing here based on the St. Mary’s River. “I’m literally building rhythm as I’m working, like a swimmer,” she said. “I’ve always been amazing by things I don’t understand.”

As an artist, Cardwell finds herself easily inspired by the works of other artists throughout the world. “My problem as an artist is not to copy another artist but to kind of find my own way with it,” she said. She draws a lot of inspiration from the artist Arshile Gorky, who was born in Turkey but moved to the United States. Gorky’s paintings are a combination of surrealist and abstract expressionist styles.

Cardwell also draws inspiration from ancient Armenian manuscripts, saying, “I liked the more primitive looking images instead of the more refined ones.”

Cardwell did a lot of traveling throughout Eastern Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries, creating what she called “impressions of a landscape.” She would go on long walks with her sketchbook and paint small fragments of an interesting landscape and then later refine them for months in her studio using paint supplies she found from local merchants. She is “very interested in pattern and rhythm.”

The style of the frescos that Cardwell found in the Republic of Georgia and Turkey also show through in her current work. These frescos were paintings on a hue scale, with vibrant colors, painted as a part of the landscape. “Georgians are really good with color and line,” she said. “They use a really reduced pallet.”

“I liked a lot of [the frescos] because they were faded,” said Cardwell. “There’s been work to fix them, maybe too much work to fix them. I like kind of faded things.”

In an interview with Studio Critical, Cardwell described a recent exhibition of her art at the Salena Gallery at Long Island University. She said, “The installation at LIU consists of 6, 5’ x 30’ and 5’ x 20’ pieces. The gallery wall is curved and these pieces were done specifically for this wall. They are made with parachute cloth, a traditional muralist’s media, and enamel paint from the hardware store.  This was my attempt to integrate drawing and painting.”

She continued, “Four of them literally wrap around the curved wall. You can’t look at the whole thing at once. The other two are flat on the wall. They hark back to the sense of space and color that I found in the early Christian frescos that I was lucky enough to see in Turkey and the Republic of Georgia. In these the sense of color is very intense, simple blocks integrated with drawing in most cases. Every time you move your head or body you see something new.”

During the question session after the lecture, Professor of Art Lisa Sheer asked Cardwell, “How do you retain a certain quality of an object without replicating it?” She explained how some students in her sculpture classes have difficulty with this. During the lecture, Cardwell explained how though she uses natural objects as inspiration, she does not simply replicate them in her paintings, which instead have an abstract feel to them.

“It takes a lot of years in the studio to let go,” Cardwell explained. “You just have to keep working.”

News-in-Brief: Writing Center to Host SMP Presentation Consultations

On Sunday, April 22, the Writing Center will host consultations where seniors preparing for upcoming St. Mary’s Project (SMP) Presentations can practice from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in LIB 115.

Starting at 10 a.m., tutors will be available for individual sessions with students to prepare for presentations. Also, beginning at 5 p.m., tutors will be assisting practice sessions for up to four students during each 90-minute period.  Tutors will be there to guide the presenters for giving constructive criticism to each other during presentation practices.

Video cameras will be on hand for students to tape their presentations before, during, or instead of meeting with a tutor as well, though preference will be given to those meeting with a tutor.

Assistant professor of English, Director of the Writing Center, and SMP Mentor Brian O’Sullivan thinks the program will help all students preparing for their presentation. “Practice and good, critical but supportive feedback are useful before any kind of public speaking,” he said. “I’m sure participants will come away even more prepared and confident than they would be otherwise.”

Besides the regular opportunity to tape and review presentation practice through the Oral Expression Center, which is run by the Liberal Arts Associates within the Core Curriculum office in Glendenning Hall, O’Sullivan noted that “this is the first time the Writing Center has combined that kind of service with peer tutoring.”

According to O’Sullivan, the idea for the program got started with Liberal Arts Associate and Adjunct Assistant Professors of the Liberal Arts Brandi Stanton and Andrew Cognard-Black, who “have been working to help students develop in oral expression, along with other liberal arts skills, and we’ve been talking about how the Writing Center can help,” he said. “SMP presentations seemed like a good focus, since SMP students are so motivated to do their best at sharing the projects they’ve been working so hard on.”

Seniors can sign up for individual or group sessions via the Portal on the Writing Center link, or at the Writing Center’s webpage at

News-in-Brief: Dove Yearbook Available Before Graduation for First Time

The Dove yearbook for the 2011-2012 school year, which will be available for purchase by students and staff the week before finals, has chosen to take on the theme of “Apocalyptic.”

Filling up a total of 81 pages, all in color, this year’s yearbook reflects on the many trials and tribulations the student body has faced throughout the year, including the earthquake, hurricane, fire, the mold, hotels, the Sea Voyager, bed bugs, and power outages.

The yearbook will include such things as an introduction from President Joe Urgo, pictures of sports teams (both varsity and club) and non-athletic clubs, photograph collages, personal advertisements, and senior portraits.

The Dove, which was acquired by The Point News Publications last semester, is planning to be better than ever. The Point News Publications has been able to offer a larger access to photographs of on campus events, the use of a professional software program (InDesign), and a cozier financial standing. While the staff have only been able to put together the yearbook this semester, they are quickly working on completing it so that it will be available before graduation, which has never been done by The Dove before.

This early release date will allow time for students to have their friends sign their yearbooks before leaving at the end of the year. Photographs of World Carnival, the awards ceremony, senior week, commencement, and graduation, though, will not be placed in the yearbook, but The Dove staff plans to create a Final Events mini-book that will include those events and be released online at for free after graduation.

The yearbooks, which will cost $49, are slightly more expensive than last year, but the higher price allows for all pages to be in color and for more flexibility on the cover design. Books that are purchased after graduation and need to be shipped to the buyer will cost $55.

Out of the entire graduating class, 196 seniors sat for their senior portrait, which was offered for free by The Point News photographers. In the past, students have had to pay for their photographs to be taken, but this year they were free and have been placed on The Point News website for a free download. But if students wish to receive a copy of their senior portrait in a different size or without the watermark, it will cost money.

Production of the yearbook has also been aided by the purchase of advertisement space by the Campus Store, Taylor Gas Company in Lexington Park, The Green Door, and fourteen families of graduation seniors paying for personal advertisements.

TOMS Shoes: Buy One, Give One Free

On Monday, April 9 at 8:15 p.m., the St. Mary’s women’s soccer team hosted For Tomorrow: The TOMS Shoes Story in Cole Cinema, a documentary telling the story of how TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie started a movement to give shoes to those in need.

Only 35 minutes in length and a mixture of interviews, textual information, and live footage, the documentary told the story of TOMS, a shoe company that donates one pair of shoes to third-world communities without them for every pair bought around the world.

Also the Chief Shoe Giver for TOMS, Mycoskie began the project in 2006 after seeing children in Argentina who grew up without shoes. In areas where the nearest school could be miles away and only reachable on foot over ground frequented by pathogens and parasites, Mycoskie was inspired to start a company to give back to the communities that needed shoes the most.

The documentary mainly focuses on Mycoskie’s first “shoe drop” to these same villages after he promised the people he would return. He did in 2007, bringing with him 10,000 pairs of shoes to place by hand on the feet of those in need.

Now, Mycoskie’s business has expanded, selling not only shoes but also eyewear. In this same way, TOMS follows the “One for One” policy; buying a pair gives a pair to someone else in need, not only in third-world areas but also first-world cities like Los Angeles.

Since 2010, TOMS has donated over 600,000 pairs of shoes. Mycoskie’s philosophy, quoting Indian independence movement leader Mohandas Ghandi, is “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Though the event was not largely attended, many of the audience members seemed to enjoy the documentary and Mycoskie’s philanthropist vision for all businesses and consumers.

Mathematical Patterns Used to Make Bracelets

In the last Natural Science and Mathematics (NS&M) Colloquium of the spring semester series on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 11 in Schaefer 106, Susan Goldstine, Associate Professor of Mathematics at the College, spoke about her experiences with mathematical beading and the connections between math and art.

Her journey started on November 3, 2008 when she received an unexpected email from Ellie Baker, a computer scientist and artist in Massachusetts, whose daughter was a senior in high school and planning to make beaded crochet bracelets based off mathematical patterns on Goldstine’s website for a science project.  Her high school told her it wasn’t science.

Baker’s daughter, Sophie Sommer, designed a bracelet that replicated a seven-color torus, or the surface of a doughnut.  Goldstine was quite impressed with Sommer’s design and exact replica of the seven-color torus, in which every color on the bracelet touches each of the other six at one point in the pattern.

Sommer had then come up with a new seven-color pattern similar to the torus.  Goldstine and the mother-daughter duo had finally decided to meet at the Joint Math Meeting in Washington D.C. in 2009, where they shared their designs in person for the first time.

It was then when Goldstine had learned to finally actually make the bracelets, which are made “by crocheting a strand of beads into a cylinder and sewing the ends together to form a torus,” according to Goldstine’s webpage. Goldstine also noted that Baker and Sommer favored a mathematical approach because it would lead to more perfect symmetry in the bead design, since trying to visualize a finished product based off a 2-D pattern is rather difficult.

After the initial meeting, Baker contacted Goldstine again with a new way to create these seven-color tori with art: knitting and crocheting. Artists Sarah-Marie Belcastro and Caroyln Yackel, who originally created the designs, had inspired Baker to try even more mathematical designs with bead-crochet bracelets such as a torus knot, which is a knot that can be drawn on a torus and measured based on the amount of times the line passes through the hole and also completely around the torus.

Once Baker completed a torus knot on a bracelet, she turned to Goldstine for even more designs like an Esher tessellation, which is the division of a plane or other surface into one or several identical shapes.  Though Baker was sure there was a mathematical theory on how to perfect the Esher bracelet, she just couldn’t find it.  So finally, after working on the bracelet for a while, she brought a finished product to the 2010 Joint Math Meeting in New Orleans.

Now fully interested, and on sabbatical, Goldstine started to devote more time to the art form, and had her breakthrough in September 2010 when she discovered a perfectly symmetric “hockey stick translation.”  In this design, the pattern is described as “to the right, down-right once,” meaning that there would be five beads in a row and then the sixth bead would be located down one row and to the right one space from the initial line of five.  Once they discovered this pattern, Baker and Goldstine began to design back and forth and came up with 11 designs, which they submitted to the 2012 Joint Math Meeting’s art exhibit in San Diego.  Their collection is called the “Crystallographic Bracelet Series.”

Currently, Baker and Goldstine are working on publishing a book about the various mathematical bead crochet bracelets.  “Our goal is to teach people how to make the bracelets while also designing new ones ourselves,” said Goldstine.

Goldstine also noted that Sommer ended up completing the project in high school in 2009 and won a prize for her work. Currently attending Colgate University in New York, Sophie has even sold some of the more simple patterned bracelets on

First year and math major Laura Andre thought the lecture was interesting.  “I liked how it showed that you can incorporate math into art,” she said. The NS&M Colloquium Series plans to return next semester to the College.