Subscribe to Make Magazine Today!
Math_Monday_banner_600px.gif

Math Monday: Hexagonal stick arrangements

By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics

hexagonal-sticks-pencils.jpg

Interpenetrating hexagonal arrangements of sticks are a challenging mathematical exercise to assemble from pencils. Four different directions are used, as color-coded here. The above sculpture, 72 Pencils, has tiny dots of glue to hold itself together, but you can easily use eight rubber bands around the ends.

hexagonal-sticks.jpg

The idea scales up to larger sizes very nicely, as can be seen in this version made by David Russell from three foot long dowels.

hexagonal-sticks-burning.jpg

And what better way to celebrate the joys of mathematics than with a ritual conflagration!

More:

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


//