M.C. Escher

His work features mathematical objects and operations including impossible objects, explorations of infinity, reflection, symmetry, perspective, truncated and stellated polyhedra, hyperbolic geometry, and tessellations. Although Escher considered that he had no mathematical ability, he interacted with mathematicians George Pólya, Roger Penrose, and Harold Coxeter; read mathematical papers by these authors and by the crystallographer Friedrich Haag; and conducted his own original research into tessellation.

Escher’s art became popular, both among scientists and mathematicians, and in popular culture. Apart from being used in a variety of technical papers, his work has appeared on the covers of many books and albums. He featured as one of the major inspirations of Douglas Hofstadter’s 1979 book Gödel, Escher, Bach.

Continue Reading ›

Jane Jacobs

From the May 4th, 2016 Google Doodle celebrating the 100th anniversary of Jane Jacob’s birth:

Jane Jacobs was a self-taught journalist and community organizer that supported keeping the city of New York diverse in shape and function. She stood by beloved neighborhoods that were unjustly slated for “renewal” and revealed political biases in the permit process for new projects. In Jacob’s opinion, cities are for the people, and they’re safest when residents mingle on the street and in local businesses.

Jacobs developed her philosophy through living and interacting with the city itself, and described life on the city streets as a kind of social ballet. Her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) still sits in the American Library of Congress. Today’s Doodle honors the 100th birthday of this fierce protector of New York City’s urban landscape