Carolyn Yackel

Associate Professor Office hours:
Mercer University M, W, F 3-4 Ware Hall 220
Ware Hall 220 T 2-3 ARC

Fall 2013 Courses

MAT 192 Calculus II
MAT 461 Abstract Algebra I

Mathematical Art PowerPoint as pdf

Expository Writings to Help Students

Solving Optimization Problems
A Note About Writing Proofs

Professional Information

1992 The University of Chicago, S.B.
1994 The University of Michigan, M.S.
1998 The University of Michigan, Ph.D. Thesis Advisor: Mel Hochster

Mathematical Interests:  Mathematics and Art, Mathematics Education (MR: 97) and Commutative Algebra (MR: 13). Though I was trained as a commutative algebraist, my current interests are mainly in mathematics and art and partially in scholarship of teaching and learning and mathematics education. 

Curriculum Vitae (last updated 11/1/13)

Current Projects

Service:  Curriculum Committee

Conferences:  Shenandoah Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics (SUMS) Conference at James Madison University, Closing Speaker--"Beautifying Life with Mathematics", Sept. 28, 2013

AMS Special Session on Mathematics and Mathematics Education in Fiber Arts, JMM, Baltimore, January 2014, Co-organizer and Speaker--"Truchet Tilings with Templeton Squares"

Gathering 4 Gardner 11--Tetraflexagons, March 2013

Most Current Research:  
Algebraic Structure Underlying Flexagons (joint with J. Beier at Earlham)

Student Sophistication Levels (joint with J. Beier at Earlham)

Truchet Tiling with Templeton Squares

Ongoing Research:  Fiber arts and math connections, making mathematical art

Mathematics and Art

sarah-marie belcastro and I have been coordinating a Knitting Network at national mathematics meetings for many years now. Our next get together will be at the Joint Math Meetings. Please bring your project! It needn't be knitting: we accept all crafters and others who want to hang out.

sarah-marie belcastro's math and knitting website, an excellent entry point for math and fiber arts.

Here are some math/art projects. 

Temari balls my students made. A sampling of temari balls I've made. Click here to see many more and bigger pictures. The dual tori made with sarah-marie belcastro. The Fortunatus's Purse Hat. Basic pattern by Susan Goldstine in Making Mathematics with Needlework. Hand dyed yarn baby hats from the Greenleaf Hat pattern.
Cabled pillow--my design in Making Mathematics with Needlework. My version of the 8-colored Hyperbolic pants. Basic hyperbolic pants pattern in Making Mathematics with Needlework. A Wolfram Demonstration due to sarah-marie belcastro is on the web. These particular pants were presented at G4G8. My Lorentz manifold! This is the Osinga-Krauskopf model from Math Horizons. I won one of their prizes for being a first replicator. This table won second prize in the Dulcimer Art Show. The tile edges are defined by arcs of circles of varying radii.

Project NExT Links

Click here for notes from the Project NExT Grants Panel in San Antonio (1999)
The Project NExT Web Site

Personal Interests

Places to take pottery classes besides the universities:
In Bloomington, IN:
The Waldron Art Center. I loved the classes I took from Susan Snyder. She now teaches individual lessons in Majolica, a traditional Italian technique for painting pottery. Her fabulous work is available in many locations around Bloomington, including Oliver Winery, and from Studio Majolica, her home studio.
The Creative Learning Center. Kris Bush is an excellent teacher, although at the moment she no longer teaches there. Her pottery is also available at shops around Bloomington. By clicking on her name, you can go to the website for the studio she runs along with photographer Scott Johnson.

In Ann Arbor, MI:
The Ann Arbor Art Association. I took from I. B. Remsen, a terrific potter and a wonderful teacher. The Art Center also has a wonderful gift shop.

Crocheting--I've made many snowflakes and several tablecloths. I also like making doilies, but I think lots of people use them badly. When I was young I made many, many afghans.

Tatting--Someday you'll be able to click here for pictures of some things I've made. Here, too, doilies are good. But my favorite things to make are edgings, which I then use for bookmarks.

Knitting--I've made a number of pairs of socks, especially for babies. For one deluge of babies I made sweaters. Now I'm on to Fortunatus's purse baby hats.

Origami--For a while there I was into origami. I should qualify that by saying that I tried hard, but became no expert. Still, for at least one baby, I made a mobile of cranes. The place to look is Tom Hull's website.

Temari--Temari Balls are balls (I used styrofoam) wrapped with thread and then embroidered. The geometry is amazing. Clearly, this is the place to see geometry on the sphere. It is easy to use these to demonstrate that triangles on the sphere need not have interior angles summing to 180 degrees. In addition, they are excellent for exhibiting the duality pairs of the Platonic solids. Besides that, they are beautiful. Check out Barb Seuss's page.