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Wertheim.levelone

Wertheim.levelone

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Published by The Guardian

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Published by: The Guardian on Jun 13, 2012
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09/26/2012

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THEMOSELYSNOWFLAKESPONGE
LEVEL ONE
A USC LIBRARIES DISCOVERY FELLOW PROJECTAT THE INTERSECTION OF MATHEMATICS, ART,AND LIBRARIES
In 1926, mathematician Karl Menger discovered the rstthree-dimensional ractal, which came to be called, in hishonor, the Menger Sponge. Eighty years later Dr. JeannineMosely, an MIT-trained engineer, built a model o thisextraordinary object using 66,000 business cards.Now Dr. Mosely has discovered a relative o Menger’soriginal ractal—the Mosely Snowfake Sponge. USCLibraries Discovery Fellow Margaret Wertheim and Dr.Mosely are leading the USC community in constructingthis unique mathematical orm out o 49,000 businesscards. This is the rst time in the history o the world, andperhaps the universe, that this wondrous ractal object willbe brought into being.These instructions describe how to assemble a levelone Mosely Snowfake Sponge, a smaller variant o thelevel three ractal under construction at USC. Additionalinormation as well as instructional videos are availableonline at
www.usc.edu/libraries/sponge
.
ABOUT JEANNINE MOSELY
A graduate o MIT with a Ph.D. in electrical engineeringand computer science, Mosely has pursued a career inthree-dimensional modeling sotware. She is well-knownor her Business Card Menger Sponge, a large-scale,participatory, origami project that engaged hundredso people across the USA. Mosely believes that oldingorigami structures is a way o giving lie to mathematicaltheorems and ormulae. Her recent work ocuses onolding curved lines in modular orms and tessellations.She designed and developed the methods or creating theMosely Snowfake Sponge.
ABOUT MARGARET WERTHEIM
Margaret Wertheim is a science writer, curator, and theauthor o books on the cultural history o physics andperception. In 2003, she and her twin sister Christineounded the Institute For Figuring, a Los Angeles-basedorganization that explores the poetic and aestheticdimensions o science and mathematics. In 2011, shebecame the USC Libraries inaugural Discovery Fellow. Hermost recent book—
Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings,Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything
—waspublished in October 2011 by Walker & Co.
ABOUT THE USC LIBRARIES DISCOVERY FELLOWSHIP
Dean Catherine Quinlan established the DiscoveryFellowship in 2011 to encourage students and scholarsto engage library collections in inventive and surprisingways. As the libraries’ rst Discovery Fellow, MargaretWertheim has curated The Marine Sublime—an event thatexplored the relationship among art, marine biology, andrare scientic works in the libraries’ special collections—and a discussion and workshop that investigatedthe mathematical character o Lewis Carroll’s
 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 
. With Jeannine Mosely, she isleading the Snowfake Sponge project at USC. 
www.usc.edu/librarieswww.usc.edu/libraries/sponge
 
1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.10.11.1.
Place one business card across another, centered and at right angles to the rst.
2. 
Fold the faps down as shown.
3. 
Separate thecards. Make 6 or each cube.
4.
Assemble the cards so that all the faps are on the outside, matching short edges to long edges.
5-8. 
Adding each o the 6 cards to complete the rst cube.
9-10. 
Link 2 cubes together by slipping a fap rom one cube under the cornerso 2 faps on an adjacent cube, then slip the matching fap rom the rst cube under the other 2 corners o the faps on the secondcube.
11. 
Link a third cube to orm a 3-cube rod.
HOW TO MAKE CARD CUBESCOMBINING CUBES TO MAKE ALEVEL ONESPONGE
1-2.
Make three cubes.
3-6. 
Make 4 rods o 3 cubes. Note the orientation o the faps. Two o the middle aces should have horizontalfaps, the other two should have vertical faps.
 
3.4.5.6.1.2.
MAKINGTHELEVELONESPONGE
EACH LEVEL ONE SPONGE REQUIRES 108 STANDARD BUSINESS CARDS

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