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Science Technology

Mathematicians Devise Typefaces Based On Problems of Computational Geometry 60

KentuckyFC writes: "Typeface design is something of an art. For many centuries, this art has been constrained by the materials available to typographers, mainly lead and wood. More recently, typographers have been freed from this constraint with the advent of digital typesetting and the number of typefaces has mushroomed. Verdana, for example, is designed specifically for computer screens. Now a father and son team of mathematicians have devised a number of typefaces based on problems they have studied in computational geometry. For example, one typeface is inspired by the folds and valleys generated by computational origami designs. Another is based on the open problem of 'whether every disjoint set of unit disks (gears or wheels) in the plane can be visited by a single taut non-self-intersecting conveyor belt.' Interestingly, several of the new typefaces also serve as puzzles in which messages are the solutions."
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Mathematicians Devise Typefaces Based On Problems of Computational Geometry

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18, 2014 @11:11AM (#46787571)

    You misunderstand the point of the exercise entirely. None of these fonts are intended for use. Rather, the alphabet provides a useful set of 26 shapes upon which these geometric techniques / problems can be modeled. The alphabet is being used as a set of "testing data," nothing more, and provides an interesting and relatable look at various problems in geometry.
    However, the fact that this testing data can also be used for communications makes already-interesting demonstration of areas of inquiries in mathematics a little more interesting, particularly for the ones where this is a "puzzle font" form. But that's really a secondary feature.
    The fact that letters and numbers are being used is incidental. They could be modeling constellations - but letters are the most recognizable shape (at least in parts of the world that uses this alphabet).

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.