A magnified Mandelbrot set. Image by Philip Dawd, using the program winCIG Chaos Image Generator. Copyright: Darwin College, University of Cambridge

"Bat country" is a a 22ft tall Sierpinski tetrahedron made from 384 softball bats, 130 balls, and few thousand pounds of steel. Designed by Gwen Fisher, engineered by Paul Brown. Photograph: Gwen Fisher

Layered paper is put into a machine and compressed. Created by Timothy Dodwell and Andrew Rhead, University of Bath

A quaternion Julia set fractal. Image: Rob Hocking

A 3-D printed version of the mathematical form above.

The Pythagorean theorem as cake. Baked by Emiko Dupont. Photograph: University of Bath

An analysis of waves through crystal. Image: R R Hogan, University of Cambridge

The long-exposure photograph of this double pendulum demonstrates chaotic motion. Photograph: Michael G Devereux

Cambridge public transport, illustrated in ten-minute time bands, starting at 9am. Image: Mapumental

A Mandelbox: a 3D fractal object that represents the points in space that do not move to infinity under the action of a set of geometric transformations. Image: Jos Leys

A trefoil knot that combines four parallel Möbius strips and a continuously-running spiral tube. Drawn freehand by Tom Holliday, inspired by M C Escher

A Fibonacci representation of 3,000 sunflower seeds. Image: Ron Knott

A 3D printed tesseract. Sculpture by Saul Schleimer and Henry Segerman. Photograph: Henry Segerman

A crocheted model of the hyperbolic plane. Photograph: Daina Taimina

The Forth Bridge in Scotland photographed at Imperial College in 1887. The central 'weight' is Kaichi Watanabe, an early Japanese engineer to study in the UK. Sir John Fowler and Benjamin Baker are the supports. Photograph: Imperial College

Two sets of geometric transformations create a hybrid fractal. Image: Jos Leys


See Math Come To Life In 50 Trippy Visuals

The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications cuts loose.

The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications is the "professional and learned society for qualified and practicing mathematicians" (this according to the IMA website). Not the first place you'd look for visual magic.

But the U.K.-based Institute, which turns 50 this year, has released a book celebrating its longevity, which is nothing short of psychedelic. 50 Visions of Mathematics is "designed to showcase the beauty of mathematics." It contains 50 essays on a wide range of mathematical topics, accompanied by 50 "visions of mathematics" created IMA members and people in the math community in response to an open call for contributions. The images include an amoeba-like map of Cambridge public transport, a magnified, elephantine Mandelbrot set, a Fibonacci spiral of 3,000 seeds, and an analysis of colorful, trippy waves through crystal.

Take a look at some of the images in the gallery above.

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  • D Grant Smith

    Kudos to IMA for realizing that we need images for mathematics to be more interesting. And Kudos to you for pointing it out to us.

    Whether it's us as people interacting with each other online, or marketing efforts to increase brand awareness, strong visuals make all the difference. Math is just a bunch of numbers and symbols and content is just a bunch of ...........content, without strong images. http://dreamspectrum.com/online-marketing-content-essentials-part-2/