Saturday, May 28, 2016

DESMA 9 Week 9 Blog Post

In this week's lecture, we have gone through some basic history of space exploration and art works related with space topic such as movies. After the world war II, United States and Soviet Union entered grand cold war period, and this spikes the rapid development in space technology such as rocket and satellite. Thanks to the space race between two superpowers, it only take humanity 20 years from launching small satellite to landing man on moon. This rise in space exploration also sparks the very nature of human--curiosity and imagination to the unknown, which leads to many different art/science forms such as space city design and starship used for interstellar travel.
Figure 1. One design for future space city.
As I mentioned before, science is not the only thing that sparked by the space race, art works also take giant leap due to the rising space topic in daily life. A great example would be one of the most classic sci-fi movie--Star Wars. Of course, there are many other great movies and TV shows that related with space, and they are the result of this rapidly developing space industry.
Figure 2. Star Wars.

For me, space itself is a grand art work with so many things we still do not understand yet. As our science and technology advancing in the past few decades, people now are planning for Mars immigration and exploration outside our own solar system. There are many bold ideas including 'terraforming', which refers to alternating a planet's environment into earth-like condition though engineering approach.
Figure 3. Terraforming project design.
In general, space exploration not only helps on science and technology, but also gives a brand new art section that shows us infinite possible future for mankind in space.

Recommended video links:

[1]"NASA's Groovy Concept Art for the Orbiting Cities of the Future." CityLab. Web. 28 May 2016.
[2]"Space Station (A World of Difference)." Alternative History. Web. 28 May 2016.
[3]"Nomad: Terraforming Mars- EVolo | Architecture Magazine." EVolo Architecture Magazine RSS. Web. 28 May 2016.
[4]"Blog." Cinematic Snobs. 2014. Web. 28 May 2016.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

DESMA9 Week 8 Post

As our technology progressing rapidly, some of our traditional perspectives are also shifting: bigger is no necessarily better. We used to appreciate giant stuff such as huge building and larger display screen. However, there are many things nowadays we prefer smaller sizes of them such as transistors (electronic chips). Just like its name, nano-science/technology refers to the study on things with nano-meter scale. The impact on our daily life by nano-technology is huge, for example, if we can make transistors smaller and fill more transistors in same size electronic chips, this is going to make our cell phone and computers more efficient and powerful. What's more, there are many interesting things happen at nano-scale, just like the picture shown below.
Figure 1. Electrochemically overgrown CuNi nano-pillars
This image shows the CuNi nano-pillar structure, and it looks like lines of trees after we add colors on its structure (broccoli or mushroom?). Believe or not, application of 'nano-science' appeared a thousand years ago. Ancient Egyptian add gold into glass while they are melting, which eventually yields ruby glass as shown in figure 2. Of course, ancient Egyptian did not know that this is actually caused by gold nanoparticles that emerged during reheat process of glass (but they do know how to make these glass). Same for the white paint (its white color comes from titania nanoparticles that have equivalent band gap energy with white color) , which artist across the global have used it for centuries.
 Figure 2. Ruby glass
As the microscope technology developed in past century, we are able to understand many unsolved questions by looking it at nano scale. The figure below shows the transformation in structure of CaCO3 on nano scale.
Figure 3. False color SEM image of warring CaCO3 polymorphs showing the transformation of vaterite (left) to the more stable calcite (right)
Here are some links recommended for this topic:

[1] "Nano Orchard and Other Amazing Nanotechnology Images." Nano Orchard and Other Amazing Nanotechnology Images. Web. 21 May 2016.
[2] Lilley, Maiken. "The Art of Nanotech." PBS. PBS, 2010. Web. 21 May 2016.
[3] "Corning Museum of Glass." All About Glass. Web. 21 May 2016.
[4] "Paints." CIEC Promoting Science at the University of York, York, UK. Web. 21 May 2016.
[5] CHEM C180 Lecture by Professor Richard Kaner, spring quarter at UCLA

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Zongwu Fan DESMA 9 Week 7 Blog

As we discussed last week about human body (specifically brain for my blog topic last week), we already knew that our body is a sophisticated system controlled by our amazing brain that makes us dominant species on this planet. However, it is neuron that helps connected each component of our body, and this fact makes  neuroscience a critical research field in medical science. Ever since we can observe neuron with microscope, there are many art works that related with neurons emerged. The picture below shows a neuron sculpture in front of Sydney modern art museum.
The neurons in our body passing critical information and orders through a complex neural networks, which act as 'highway' for neurons. This neural network is shown in the picture below.
There is an interested reference mentioned in the sample blog for this week, which is an art work done by a neurology PhD student named Greg Dunn. Here is a fancy picture illustrates both the complexity and beauty of the neural networks (rainbow colored). There are many other art works related with neurons and neural networks in Greg Dunn's art design website.
There is also some degree of link between our conciseness and neural networks, and here is a recommended video from TEDxTalk for those who would like to learn more about the art of neural networks. Video link:
[1]"Brainbow Hippocampus in Color | Greg Dunn Design." Greg Dunn Design. Web. 14 May 2016. 
[2]"Sydney - City and Suburbs." : Museum of Contemporary Art, Biennale, Neuron. Web. 14 May 2016.
[3]"Neuron Spark." By Neutrix on DeviantArt. Web. 14 May 2016.
[4]"The Art of Neural Networks." Web. 14 May 2016.
[5]"Psychology of Memory and Consciousness by John Philip Bongco." Web. 14 May 2016.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Zongwu Fan DESMA 9 Week 6 Post

Human body is one of the most sophisticated system on planet earth, and as our biological technology progressing rapidly in the past few decades, we are unlocking the puzzle of our own. Taking human brain as an example, our brain is the most sophisticated network among all species on earth, which is the reason why we are the predominant intelligent life that inhibit on this planet. A very simple way to describe our brain is the term 'biological computer'. Our brain is basically a computer that operate our entire body. When we want to do something (action, speaking etc.), our brain sends electrical pulse through neuro network to give order for our body. In figure 1, there is a art work that vividly depict our brain by combining brain with circuit board.
Figure 1. This figure shows the brain with a typical circuit board plot

In figure 2, we see a brain graph with those spark points, which represent the electrical pulse that travels through our neuro network. 

Figure 2. Brain graph

Although our technology is progressing exponentially in the past decades, there are still many questions of our brain that we do not understand yet. Brain simulation research has been a hot spot among all other brain research after we entered 21st century. The idea behind this is to using a computer to simulate human brain, and if we can achieve this through a silicon chips based computer, it will be a huge revolution to artificial intelligence since we might be able to build a robot with human brain (simulated program). A organization called 'Human Brain Project' is currently working on brain mapping and simulation, and here is link for a intro video on mouse brain simulation: 
 Figure 3. This figure shows a brain mapping graph done researchers at USC.


"Biotech's Explosive Evolution Outpaces Moore's Law : DNews." DNews. Web. 08 May 2016.

"LEE LAB." LEE LAB. Web. 08 May 2016.

"Brain Mapping -Chassity Gentry." Emaze Presentations. Web. 08 May 2016. 

"Weird Science: Biotechnology as Art Form." ARTnews. Web. 08 May 2016.

"Overview." The Human Brain Project. Web. 08 May 2016.

"USC Scientists Arthur Toga, Paul Thompson Are on the Cutting Edge of Brain Mapping." USC News. Web. 8 May 2016.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

When I took geometry classes back in junior high school,  I learned that math and art are closely related with each other, and sometimes the presentation of math itself is an art work. Back in 2007 summer, I attended a summer camp in Britain, and I saw the very famous Cambridge mathematical bridge, which is a great example shows how complicated mathematics can be transformed into art. The figure below shows the mathematical bridge.

It was quite shocking to me when first saw this bridge, especially after I learned that the building blocks of this bridge are all straight timber. The designer of this bridge uses geometry to make this bridge looks like arch, which a lot of modern bridges have. There are other famous objects such as pyramids in Egypt, and they are all mathematics in an art form.
From the course materials, we see a lot of modern arts that have mathematics involved. With modern technology, we can now use all kinds of software (algorithm) to transform math into art. A very famous function art is shown in picture below.
It seems to me that math itself is an art since it is both complicated and beautiful. If we think about it, almost everything we ever known can be illustrated by mathematical models, and I think it makes math fascinating just as art.
"Michael Trott Math Art." Michael Trott Math Art. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
"Mathematical Bridge." Mathematical Bridge. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
"Heart Curve." -- from Wolfram MathWorld. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
"Mathematics in Art and Architecture (GEK1518)." Mathematics in Art and Architecture. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.