MATC Mathematics Club
Lecture #117

Madison Area Technical College
Madison, Wisconsin


Fall 2012 Presentation #117 (September 28, 2012)

Dr. Karl Schaffer, De Anza College, CA

"Dancing with Mathematics"( Part #1 , Part#2 )


Mathematics and dance are linked in many beautiful and surprising ways: the geometry of the moving body, the symmetries of dancers arrayed across the stage, the rhythmic patterns of dance phrasing, the complex connections between dancers, the varied paths through space. In this talk we will examine the ways that choreographers employ mathematical concepts, both consciously and unconsciously, and see how mathematical questions sometimes arise within a dance.


Karl Schaffer is co-founder and co-artistic director of the Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble, which has toured throughout North America since 1988. They have received five National Endowment for the Arts grants for their artistic and educational work linking dance and mathematics. His most recent concert, “The Daughters of Hypatia” celebrates the lives, work, and struggles of great women mathematicians. He teaches mathematics at De Anza College in California when not dancing.


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