Go to navigation
Mathematics and Statistics
2019 Project Proposal

Tensegrity: Theory and Practice

John McCleary (Mathematics & Statistics)

Tensegrity is a term introduced by Buckminster Fuller to describe sculptures of Kenneth Snelson which consist of incompressible tubes and cables. They are magical as it appears that the tubes float in the air when the cables are unseen. There is a considerable literature on tensegrity structures in mathematics, engineering, and biology. The goal of this project is to explore this literature and the building of tensegrity structures. Outcomes would be objects from which we can visually learn new mathematical ideas.

Math 220 and 221 would be desirable. Also an artistic temperament.

How should students express interest in this project?
Students should set up by email (mccleary@vassar.edu) an interview with me.