Saturday, April 14, 2012


It took my a long time to learn how to pronounce "Jyväskylä", the name of the city I visited in Finland (it's pronounced: yoo-VEHS-koo-leh). Here I gave a talk on math art to the public and a keynote talk at a math art seminar. I met wonderful people, made great contacts, and now have projects underway with my friends on the other side of the Gulf of Bothnia.

Here's a random collection of experiences from my visit:

The compass in the middle of downtown Jyväskylä. It's a wonderful student city, with great shops, clubs and restaurants.

For lunch at the campus cafeteria you can get homemade beer. It's non-alcoholic. I was afraid to drink it at first, but it was a delicious bubbly malty sweet beverage, much like soda.

An artist from Helsinki came up to the seminar to find someone to talk to about his discoveries with non-periodic tilings of orders 5, 7, 9, 11, etc. We had lunch together and geeked out over his very cool drawings and mathematics.

My friend Kristof with his girlfriend and her son. I spend a lovely evening with the family juggling, playing math puzzles, and listening to Finnish poetry.

The church in the middle of Jyväskylä, with a statue of a naked woman in front.

The architect Alvar Aalto is very popular in Jyväskylä. This city is where he had his first office and though there are other cities with much more of his influence, Jyväskylä has somehow claimed him and opened a museum. Here's me with some of his chairs.

 Kristof's officemate studies Asian American writers. Here three books I saw on her shelf: "Aiiieeeee!", "The Big Aiiieeeee!", and "Eeeee Eee Eeee". Huh.

A whole shop for Mommin! (Mummitrollet we call them in Norway)

I liked these glass paintings in the Copenhagen airport. Centaurs, Pegasuses and fairies. 

The trip home was brutal. I flew Jyväskylä to Helsinki to Frankfort Germany to Copenhagen Denmark back home to Trondheim. Travel time: 17 hours. Fortunately I had good things to read.

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