Three people converse while standing in front of an art exhibit.

The Institute for Visual Studies

The Institute for Visual Studies (IVS) at James Madison University is a center for scholarly, scientific and creative inquiry into the nature and workings of images. An incubator of new ideas, the institute fosters discovery, and the generation of artworks, products, and applications by multidisciplinary teams of students and faculty.

IVS is located in Room 208 of Roop Hall on the campus of JMU. It is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and by appointment. Please call 568-5656 with questions.

Spring 2013 IVS Exhibitions

Outside the Golden Rectangle
February 5 - March 29
Opening Reception: February 5, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

For centuries, mathematics has influenced artists and their work. This exhibition examines a variety of ways in which mathematical and artistic principles interconnect--from geometry to tiling and group theory. Works of art that demonstrate these principles will be on display, as will interactive elements that allow visitors to create their own artworks.

Art and Mathematics through the Lens of Photography
April 16 - May 3
Opening Reception: April 16, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The IVS course this semester explored the interplay of visual art and mathematics. Artists use mathematics as a tool and as inspiration. Mathematicians use visual methods as a compelling way to communicate mathematical ideas. In their semester projects, students have investigated the intersection of the two disciplines from multiple perspectives.

Spring 2013 IVS Colloquia

Crocheting a Plane: Using Physical Models to Visualize Hyperbolic Geometry
Katie Quertermous (Mathematics and Statistics)
February 20

Dr. Quertermous will discuss how paper and crochet models can be used to visualize hyperbolic geometry. In her presentation, she will explore some of the basic properties of hyperbolic geometry and the connections between mathematics, biology and art that these models reveal.

Spiral Knows: Patterns, Invariants and Exploratory Mathematics
Laura Taalman (Mathematics and Statistics)
March 20

Dr. Taalman will discuss knot theory from an intuitive perspective, leading up to recent work with undergraduates on properties of “spiral knots” that have a regular repeating pattern. The structure in these knots gives rise to curiously interconnected patterns and an open-ended journey of mathematical exploration, trial and error, luck, computers and coincidence.

Modernist Robots and Post-Modern Realities
Maureen Shanahan (Art History)
April 17

Professor Shanahan will discuss some utopian and dystopian visions of robots, automatons and cyborgs. Some scientists now claim that within 25 to 50 years, autonomous, thinking, feeling robots will exist and that human immortality will be possible. Her talk will address how early 20th-century manifestations of robots can help us understand such contemporary desires, fantasies and possible realities.

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