by Erik Baard
Some of the loveliest snowflakes you might see this winter glow warmly on a computer screen.
Lafayette College mathematics professor Cliff Reiter might share the joy of a kid making snowflakes with scissors and paper, but his computer simulations of crystal growth aim at deeper revelation. The sublimity of his creations attest to the beauty he sees in the elegant algorithms underneath.
“Isn’t it the juxtaposition of symmetry with complexity that makes snowflakes beautiful? With models, or mathematical arguments, simplicity plays a role similar to symmetry,” Reiter said.
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