Beauty in Numbers

Math, science and art join hands in a series of images produced by faculty, postdoctoral researchers and students in the Center for Computational Science at Tulane University. For the second year, the center held the "Computational Art Show," comprising graphic expressions of the work done by researchers. View the video.

Scientists become artists in this video produced by Nick Marinello.

"The computer codes give you back a bunch of numbers," says Ricardo Cortez, director of the center, "and you want to visualize what's happening. … You can't do that by looking at numbers or data. You have to look at figures or pictures."

In preparing work to be displayed in the art show, researchers are given the liberty to add an aesthetic element to the presentations, says Cortez, who also is a Duren Professor in the mathematics department.

"I think it's freeing for scientists to do that because for once you don't have to be accurate scientifically," he says. "If my aim is to produce an appealing picture, I can do that."

The art show was held on Dec. 1 and Cortez says that he would like to make the event a yearly tradition.