Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Blowing bubbles

Photo courtesy of the Sidney Daily News 
Bubbles and more bubbles. Bubbles inside of bubbles. People inside of a bubble.

If you’ve ever seen one of Dr. Luther Shetler’s bubble presentations, you know what I’m talking about. Luther taught math at Bluffton from 1950 to 1984. Although I never had him for class, he left a definite impression on me.

Back in the day I picked up extra jobs as a banquet server in Marbeck. The benefits, beside the extra pay, were the leftover desserts and sometimes being able to catch snippets of the banquet programming. One night Luther gave his bubble presentation. I was mesmerized. It was so cool.

Luther’s legacy is living on through one of his students. Just received an email that Darryl Nester ’88 will present Bubble Math, tomorrow afternoon as part of the Mathematics Seminar series.  In the description Darryl writes, “We’ll discuss topics like minimal surfaces, hyperbolic paraboloids, the isoperimetric inequality, Maraldi’s angle, catenoids, Moebius strips, … but mostly, we’ll just blow lots of bubbles.” Just like the presentation I enjoyed so many years ago.

Does Darryl consider Luther as a mentor? I cannot answer that question. But it is good to see that the ‘Bubble Math’ fun lives on.

This Mathematics Seminar is set for 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, in Centennial Hall 109.

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