Crochet of a Hyperbolic Structure

Source: The Institute for Figuring, Winter 2004

a physical model of the hyperbolic plane – a feat many mathematicians had believed was impossible – using, of all things, crochet. Taimina and her husband David Henderson, a geometer at Cornell, are the co-authors of “Experiencing Geometry,” a classic textbook on Euclidean and non-Euclidean space.

One way of understanding it is that it’s the geometric opposite of the sphere. On a sphere, the surface curves in on itself and is closed. A hyperbolic plane is a surface in which the space curves away from itself at every point.

One of the things that’s changing now is the advent of computers, which can help us to visualize mathematical objects.

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