Computing with Thread: Part I

We explored what kind of geometric constructions we can do with thread, chalk and the help of several people...

We found out...

• how to draw a line
• how to draw a circle ( d = const.)
• how to draw an ellipse ( a + b = const.)
• how to draw multifocal ellipses (a + b + c = const.)
• how to draw egg-shaped curves (3 * a + b = const.)
• how to measure the circumference of a circle
• how to calcualte pi using only thread (See also here)

We explored how our thread-based drawing tools could be used to identify points on the surface of shapes in 3 dimensions.

• We discovered the 3d ellipsoid (a + b = const.)
• We found that multifocal 3d ellipsoids have a doughnut-topology.
• We found two different ways to create ellipsoid shapes:
• the polygon method, where the thread forms a polygon going through the focal points and the drawing point
• the star method where the thread is alternately visiting each focal point and the drawing point

Observations

• Geometric knowledge from school only got us so far ...
• There is a whole universe of "new" shapes and forms

Questions raised

• Questions regarding surface of different shapes popped up
• We discussed different methods of measuring the surfaces using thread

Homework

• What could an Experimentier-Baukasten / a kit / a sandbox for computing with thread look like?
Do some research on other kinds of kits!
• Do some thread-based geometry at home. Pick a parameter such as the thread-length and vary it systematically
• Document your thread-art in the wiki

Geometry

Some links to classics of compass + straightedge geometry
as well as the thread-based geometry we explored in our class.

Kitspiration

Here are some links to all kinds of kits.
May they serve as inspiration for creating your own textile computing kits.

Knots and Splices

Knot History

• various knot books online and offline
• We learned how ropes are made in a "Seilerei" on the "Reeperbahn"
• We learned about a rope inspection machine, that travels along a the cable of a "Seilbahn"

Knot Theory

• We learned the basics of knot theory
• Minimum number of crossings
• Knot-Invariants and Knot-Polynomials

Knot Classification Game

We played a knot identification game.
It goes like this:

• Student A creates two knots using thread.
• Student B tries to figure out whether or not the two knots are the same

Homework

Create a nice framework for displaying knots.
The framework can be physical, graphical or computational in nature

Braids

In this class we will identify the basic elements of braids, and explore the intersection of braiding and sorting algorithms...