Mathematical Models
My dad, Alan Brown, and I built four stellated polyhedra (star-shaped, many-sided platonic solids) when I was about 12. Dad, a mathematician and math teacher, used the book shown here as a resource and then figured out his own dimensions and angles (as you can see from his notations right in the book).

The book, still one of the best resources for building geometric models, is Mathematical Models, 2nd Edn, by H. M. Cundy and A.P. Rollett, Oxford University Press, 1961. (The book was actually first published in 1951.)

We hung the three largest polyhedra from the kitchen ceiling and they remained up there all the years I was growing up. We suspended them from cheap white cup hooks using invisible dental floss (the knot glued inside the last joint of the model). That's kitchen decor in a math household. It worked because the models were beautiful and modern and everyone who came to the house was fascinated by them, both kids and adults.

The models were made with only a geometry set, my father's calculations, mayfair cover stock, an X-acto knife, white glue and hand-mixed tempera paint powder. And dental floss. Highly recommended as a father-daughter project, not to mention as decor.

Please comment on the photos if you have any questions or mathematical or other insights to add! I can also scan other pages - just ask.

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