Who is Maria Agnesi and why should we care?
In Maria Agnesi's day, opportunities in math were very 1-sided in favor of men. Despite that, she wrote arguably the first text book on calculus including some of its most recent developments. She became the first female university professor of mathematics. And she was the star of intellectual salons where men gathered to hear her expound on mathematical and logical ideas. She truly was a trailblazer and revolutionary in both mathematics and a pioneer in creating a world that is more 2-sided and fair. More than 200 years later, we are still grappling with the role of women in society and ensuring equal opportunity and access to all genders.
How does this art installation reflect this message?
The intent of the installation is to honor her pioneering work which began the process of making opportunities in math more 2-sided Math has an essentially beautiful way of summarizing this mission. As it turns out, in math, there are 1-sided objects. The Mobius Band is a perfect example. But there are ways to cut the Mobius Band to make it 2-sided, and still maintain its integrity as a band. With this in mind the installation features a black, metallic Mobius Band that is just beginning to be cut down the middle with silver-mirrored scissors. This fair and balanced cut will transform the 1-sided Mobius Band into a 2-sided object. This is just one of the aesthetic/metaphorical attributes of the installation. The others will be revealed as the project is funded.