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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 Institute for Figuring
Announces the first lecture in our Spring 2006 series
The Insect Trilogy

By Dr. Michael Dickinson [IFF-L14]
Thursday, May 4 @ 8pm
Hosted at Telic Arts Exchange in Chinatown / Los Angeles
975 Chung King Road
Los Angeles, CA 9001

"Robofly" - a robotic mechanism whose wings can be changed to simulate
the flight of a fruit fly, a hummingbird, or a honeybee.

In a two-ton vat of mineral oil a set of robotic wings beat silently. Nearby, in a circular corral of computer controlled LED’s, a fly tethered by a tungsten wire beats its own organic wings hundreds of times a second. As the animal flaps, laser-based sensors measure the force and torque of its miniature movements while a “wing beat analyzer” tracks the shadows of its gossamer foils. Elsewhere in the lab of Dr Michael Dickinson, researchers use stereoscopic video to reconstruct the insects’ flight path and to simulate a “fly’s eye view” of the world. Where the French oceanographer Jean Painleve took us inside the world of the octopus and seahorse, so Dickinson takes us into the realm of the fruit fly.

A fruit fly tethered by a tungsten wire enables scientists to study the force and torque on its miniature wings.
Photos courtesy of Dr. Michael Dickinson, California Institute of Technology.
360 million years before the Wright brothers pitched a glider into the wind, the descendents of shrimp-like crustaceans learned the art of hovering - a skill that humans have yet to finesse. Just as crustaceans swim by furiously beating their legs, so insects fly by furiously beating their wings, a hyperactive expenditure of energy that is at once efficient and amazingly effective. Insects’ aerobatic maneuverings are the envy of engineers and now the subject of intensive scientific research. In this talk Dr Michael Dickinson will discuss the aerodynamics, physiology, and perceptual systems involved in a flies’ flight. The event will include unique high-speed films and animations of how a fly experiences the world.
In a computer simulation a virtual fly helps scientists decipher the complex aerodynamics of insect flight. Unlike airplanes, which always aim for stability, insects wings operate at the edge of instability and they are constantly on the verge of stalling.
Dr Michael Dickinson’s laboratory at Caltech is devoted to understanding “the motion of a fly through the air.” Trained as a classical zoologist, Dickinson has also studied the physiology of hummingbird flight and is researching the control mechanisms underlying a wide class of insect gaits. He is the architect of the Grand Unified Fly project that aims “to encode in silicon as much of a fly as we can."

#1 How Flies Fly – Dr. Michael Dickinson (Thurs, May 4)
#2 The Ecology of a Termite's Gut – Dr. Jared Leadbetter (Thurs, June 1)
#3 What is it Like to be a Spider – Dr. Simon Pollard (Wed, June 28)

The Institute For Figuring is a nonprofit organization devoted to enhancing the public understanding of figures and figuring techniques. This lecture series is hosted by Telic Arts Exchange and funded in part by a grant from the Annenberg Foundation.