News Releases

St. Bonaventure University

Allegany-Limestone calculus students create mathematical art with help of SBU professor

Jun 20, 2024

ALCS calc students with Dr. Hill and Linda Dodd-NagelAnyone who’s ever said math can’t be fun never met Dr. Chris Hill.

The chair of the Department of Mathematics at St. Bonaventure University continued his outreach with local school districts, working with students in Linda Dodd-Nagel’s precalculus class at Allegany-Limestone Central School to build a work of mathematical art: a 3D “shadow” of a four-dimensional shape.

The students built the cantellated hypericosahedron using Zometool, a mathematically precise plastic construction system.

Although they had never used Zometool before, the students built the 7,200-piece model over the course of just three class periods the last week of May. The structure was on display in the ALCS lobby June 1-5.

Hill has organized several “geometry barn raisings” and Zometool workshops with local middle and high schools as well as the Challenger Learning Center of the Twin Tier Region.

ALCS students working on the structureThe project allowed the students to explore concepts such as the fourth dimension, projections, and symmetry. Dodd-Nagel incorporated the project into the precalculus course by requiring each student to create a short video explaining the project’s significance.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. Out of 167 regional universities in the North, St. Bonaventure was ranked #6 for value and #14 for innovation by U.S. News and World Report (2024).