Susan McBurney

“Nine-Flower”

Digital print, 9" x 9", 2007.



The bisymmetric coloring of this nine-pointed design hopefully attracts the viewer's attention at first glance. The design is not evenly colored because there is an odd number of points. The bottom two adjacent petals are the same color, but that gives it an anchor that lends stability to the composition. Other subtleties of color and texture exist as well. The design itself is composed of one repeated element-an arc spanning 80 on different sized circles. It is the interaction of the simple components that leads to a more complex and satisfying design.


Susan McBurney, Network Administrator

"The graphic capabilities of the modern computer provide an exciting tool with which to explore the beauty inherent in the field of mathematics and produce artwork that is appreciated on several levels. First of all, it must be aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. But beyond that it hopefully will also lead to a closer inspection and deeper understanding of the concepts behind its creation. Coming from a computer science and mathematics background, I try to introduce the beauty found in both fields and suggest that this might lead to a deeper insight and appreciation of each."

smcburne@iit.edu (alumni email)


Another work by the artist

“Straight-line Jungle”

Digital print, 9" x 9", 2007.




This entire composition (other than the frame) is made only from straight lines that vary in length as they move around the circumference of a circle. In fact, each of the components is drawn by the same simple program, with only one parameter that varies. That variable specifies the number of leaves, or petals, that are desired. It is always interesting to see how a simple program (or formula) can yield such a variety of different, yet pleasing outputs. The large leaf shape is suggestive of the curve known as a cardioid with polar equation r = 2a(1 + cos (ø). The frame is composed of sine waves.