## John M. Sullivan

Professor of Mathematics, Math Dept, Technische Universitaet Berlin

http://torus.math.uiuc.edu/jms/

jms@isama.org

"My art is an outgrowth of my work as a mathematician.
My research studies curves and surfaces whose shape is
determined by optimization principles or minimization of
energy. A classical example is a soap bubble which is round
because it minimizes its area while enclosing a fixed volume.
Like most research mathematicians, I find beauty in the elegant
structure of mathematical proofs, and I feel that this elegance
is discovered, not invented, by humans. I am fortunate that my
own work also leads to visually appealing shapes, which can
present a kind of beauty more accessible to the public."

* “Tight Borromean Rings ”*

2008, computer graphics print, 36" x 22"

The ropelength problem asks for the shape of a knot of link
when it is tied tight in rope of fixed circular cross-section.
Exact descriptions of the shape are available in only a few cases,
including the Borromean rings. This print, joint work with Charles
Gunn,
shows two renderings of the tight Borromean rings, highlighting
different
feature of the shape.