prev home next

Karl Kattchee


"El Nido Fractal"

Digital Print, 10" x 16", 2009.

The boundary between land and sea is complex, like a fractal. At the bottom of this drawing we have land, represented by rigid lines and shapes. At the top, there is the sea, swirling around. In between is the boundary, where the right angles gradually give way to curves. There is self-similarity, as one would expect in a fractal.

Karl Kattchee, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Mathematics Department, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
La Crosse, WI

"What is mathematical art? This question not only begs for criteria to make the judgement, but it also asks how math and art interact. That strange interaction is what makes math art fun for me. I almost always start with sketches on paper, but I recently began transferring them to the computer and carrying on the work electronically. As such, I can spend time experimenting with different ideas and change my mind often about what I'm doing. While I try to render mathematical ideas in my art, I also realize that the artistic process is itself a lot like the mathematical process. Sometimes the original 'problem' needs to be modified after careful 'research'. To me, the final product is a lot like a theorem."