Math Models

Faculty Member

Steve Bradlow

The math department has a rare collection of models illustrating mathematical surfaces and other geometric concepts. The models, which date back to 1900, are mostly 3-D plaster models but some are wood and some consist of metal frames with silk string threading. They are all currently housed, somewhat haphazardly, in cabinets spread throughout Altgeld Hall but will be displayed properly when the Altgeld Hall renovations are completed. This IGL project is part of the effort to prepare the models for this transition and to enhance their impact. In this first phase, the focus will not only be the models as artifacts/artworks and their restoration, but will also include detective work to identify the mathematical importance of the models and to match them with descriptions in old catalogs. This will be an interdisciplinary group including mathematicians and preservationists.

Project Difficulty