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IFF Directors Talks

IFF Directors Talks 2012
IFF Directors Talks 2011
IFF Directors Talks 2010
IFF Directors Talks 2009


Previous IFF Lectures

Exhibition Opening and Fractal Unveiling
Doheny Library, University of Southern California
Thursday, September 20, 2012 @ 57pm

A Lecture by Ryan and Trevor Oakes
Sat. September 22, 2012 @ 68pm

Theoretical and Practical Explorations of Space

@ Hayward Gallery, London
June 12–14, 2012

IFF Director Margaret Wertheim speaks at Art Center College of Design
June 22, 2011 @ 7pm
With Dr. Jerry Schubel, President and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific

Captain Charles Moore Talks About Plastic Trash
[IFF-L22] Saturday Jan 17, 2009

IFF Director Margaret Wertheim
Neuroscience Discussions at the LA Public Library

[IFF-L21] October 2 + November 10, 2008

Seeing Anew [IFF-L20]
A lecture by Trevor and Ryan Oakes
at Machine Project Sunday, June 24 @ 7pm

The Logic Alphabet of Shea Zelleweger[IFF-L19]
A discussion with the IFF and Dr. Shea Zelleweger
at Foshay Masonic Lodge Saturday, March 3 @ 5pm

Structural Considerations of the Business Card Sponge[IFF-L17]
By Dr. Jeannine Mosely
Sunday, September 10 @ 8pm

The Insect Trilogy
@ Telic Arts Exchange
How Flies Fly [IFF-L14]
By Dr Michael Dickinson
The Ecology of a Termite's Gut [IFF-L15]
By Dr Jared Leadbetter
What is it Like to be a Spider? [IFF-L16]
By Dr Simon Pollard

Where the Wild Things Are 2:
A Talk About Knot Theory
By Ken Millett
at The Drawing Center in NY.

Where the Wild Things Are 2
by Ken Millett
at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Things That Think:
A hands-on history of physical computation devices.

by Nick Gessler [IFF-L12]

Where the Wild Things Are:
A Talk about Knot Theory

by Ken Millett [IFF-L11]
at The Foshay Masonic Lodge (Culver City)

Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane:
A conversation on non-euclidean geometry and feminine handicraft

by Dr. Daina Taimina and IFF Director Margaret Wertheim [IFF-L10]

Darwinism on a Desktop:
Sodaplay and the Evolution of a Digital World

by Ed Burton [IFF-L9]

The Logic Alphabet
by Christine Wertheim [IFF-L8]

Why Things Don't Fall Down
A Talk About Tensegrities
by Robert Connelly [IFF-L7]

The Art and Science of Child’s Play

By Norman Brosterman [IFF-L6]

Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane [IFF-L5]
A Talk by David Henderson and Daina Taimina

The Mathematics of Paper Folding [IFF-L4]
by Robert Lang

The Physics of Snowflakes [IFF-L3]
by Kenneth Libbrecht

Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane [IFF-L2]
by Daina Taimina and David Henderson

The Figure That Stands Behind Figures:
Mosaics Of The Mind
by Robert Kaplan


Previous Events

Crochet Hyperbolic Workshop
Proteus Gowanus gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Hyperbolic Crochet Workshop:
a celebration of feminine handicraft and higher geometry and a homage to the disappearing wonder of coral reefs.

at The Institute For Figuring – Special Collections

A workshop on crocheting the hyperbolic plane.
at the Velaslavasay Panorama in Los Angeles.

The Physics of Snowflakes [IFF-L3]
by Kenneth Libbrecht

Thursday, June 24, 2004 @ 7:30pm
The Foshay Masonic Lodge
9635 Venice Boulevard, Culver City, CA [map]

The Physics of Snowflakes
The Physics of Snowflakes
Synthetic snow crystals grown in a laboratory
Images courtesy Kenneth G. Libbrecht

Kenneth Libbrecht is chairman of the physics department at the California Institute of Technology. He works on the LIGO gravity detector, whose purpose is to capture gravitational waves from astrophysical events such as supernovae and black holes. In his spare time, Dr. Libbrecht builds specialized chambers for studying the formation of snow crystals, a phenomenon still poorly understood. He is the author of The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty.

In this lecture, Dr Libbrecht will talk about the physics of snow crystals and explain his recent discovery of the mechanism behind ice spikes.

Meteorological definitions distinguish a single “snow-crystal” from the more general term “snowflake,” which may also apply to clusters. In the 1930’s, the Japanese physicist Ukichiro Nakaya set out to study ice formation in the laboratory, attempting to grow crystals suspended on a thread. Individual specimens proved elusive however, for the threads became encrusted with frost. Nakaya tried strings of cotton and silk, he experimented with wires and spider’s web. Eventually he found the solution in a strand of rabbit’s fur, where natural oils discouraged the nucleation of frost and allowed the development of isolated flakes. The result of this research was his famous snowflake morphology diagram.

Following in Nakaya’s footsteps, Ken Libbrecht is trying to understand the mechanics of snow crystal formation at varying degrees of temperature and humidity. In his CalTech lab, Nakaya’s rabbit hair has been replaced by a purpose designed, pressure-cooker-sized chamber, in which, using a 2000 volt electric current, Libbrecht grows needles of ice. His crystals sprout like blossoms from the ends of these stalks - miniature florets of ice mere millimeters across. Libbrecht’s research focuses on crystallization at the boundary of the quasi-liquid layer which surrounds all ice structures, and has led to his theory of “structure dependent attachment kinetics.”

Go to Dr Libbrecht's snow crystal site