Exploring logo design with Mathematica


Chris Carlson uses Mathematica to analyze logo design, in this case the Mercedes star.

I was surprised that such a variety of designs would arise from a straightforward parameterization of this simple logo. But that’s often the case. This tiny corner of the design universe contains an infinity within itself. It’s like exploring a drop of pond water with a microscope. The universe within is dazzling.

Mathematica is a computational software program used widely in scientific, engineering, and mathematical fields and other areas of technical computing. It was originally conceived by Stephen Wolfram and developed by a team of mathematicians and programmers.  It is developed by Wolfram Research.

According to Business Week, “the software has become hugely popular among product designers, architects, and financial analysts. And for engineers and scientists, Mathematica is something of a bible. Wolfram’s software is used not only to solve complex math problems but also to create and analyze computer models. It can predict how varying the ingredients in a shampoo will alter its flow through different-size bottle openings, for example, or how the pounding of ocean waves will affect a breakwater.”

So it seems like the program is a catchall for complex problem solving.  Of course, I don’t quite understand what it does and I haven’t been able to find a layman’s explanation for what the software does – other than fancy maths.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ian Semper March 2, 2009, 1:45 am

    Mathematica is a software that allows people to use computers to apply algorithms and carry out the algebraic manipulations that you were supposed to do in math class from grade 7 until you dropped math.
    If you can think about the question you want solved, and you know the mathematics you need to solve it, you can find people to work with who know how to apply Mathematica to try some different ways to analyse the issues and create the questions. You can come to know the problem from many points of view and you do not have to know a theorem or a routine or how to factor x^2 – 16 to do it. You do the thinking, you guide the questions, you consider possible solutions and make the wise decisions. Mathematica, applying mathematical reasoning does the "calculations". People who know different fields of mathematics can use Mathematica as a "standard or common language" and come to know more about the question. Mathematics is best done together.

    • jamesfurbush March 2, 2009, 4:57 am

      Thanks Ian! That's why I love the internet – there's always someone who knows more than you at any given moment.