Maths Demonstrations for Christmas

December 7th, 2008 | Categories: general math, math software | Tags:

Since setting the Walking Randomly Christmas Challenge, I have been looking around the web for Christmasy things that other people have written using mathematical software. If you have been thinking of submitting something to the challenge then maybe these will give you inspiration.

First up, we have several Wolfram Demonstrations based on themes that could be used to design Christmas greeting cards.  For example there is a great one by Michael Trott and Jeff Bryant called Decorative Holiday Stars.

Holiday Christmas Stars

If you prefer your greetings less ‘designer’ and more purely Mathematical then how about creating a card from Eisenstein Snowflakes?

Eisenstein Snowflake

Other Wolfram Demonstrations that might give you inspiration for the Christmas challenge include

I next turned my attention to MATLAB and their File Exchange and immediately hit upon a MATLAB file by Marc Lätzel that draws a Christmas tree.

Matlab Christmas Tree

Something a bit more mathematical is the .m file by Per Sundqvist which generates a FEMLAB geometry for the Koch snowflake.  This can then be used in FEMLAB to solve eigenvalue problems over the Koch domain.   I don’t have a copy of FEMLAB (called COMSOL these days) so I can’t test it but the result looks nice and a quick google search has resulted in some references that might be useful in implementing calculations like this. ‘Computing eigenfunctions on the Koch Snowflake: a new grid and symmetry‘ by John M Neuberger might be a good place to start.

Eigenfunctions on a koch snowflake

Next up is Maple.  A quick search of their Application Centre resulted in the Maple 5 code for a swinging snowman – very nice!  This is another one I can’t test because, unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of Maple but if you are one of those who do then the source code is available if you’d like to try it out.  Maple is at version 12 these days so it will be interesting to see if this old Maple 5 code still runs (let me know if you are able to test it).

MAPLE snowman

These above examples are just highlights of the sort of thing I discovered while looking around for ‘Christmas maths.’  Why not try your hand at designing something yourself in the Walking Randomly Christmas Challenge?  Submissions can be in pretty much any language you care to mention although, of the commercial maths packages, I can only test scripts written in Mathematica, Mupad, MATLAB and MathCAD.  Of course any open-source package (such as SAGE or Octave) is fair game.

If you prefer your submission to be anonymous then either don’t let me know who you are (post your code in the comments section for example) or just tell me that you would prefer it if your name were not attached.  Of course if you want full recognition for your talents then I can do that too :)  My email address is relatively easy to find.  Have fun!

  1. December 7th, 2008 at 17:33
    Reply | Quote | #1

    I just tested the swinging snowman in Maple 12 and it doesn’t work. I’ll play with it after finals are over and see if I can’t get it working. If I do, I’ll post a link here to the modified version.

  2. Mike Croucher
    December 8th, 2008 at 12:11
    Reply | Quote | #2

    Hi Ken

    Thanks for that. It would be great if you could fix it up to allow it to run in version 12 although I’ll not get the benefit of it myself :(