Fumiko Futamura

Notable Achievements

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science was active at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, with national meetings of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), and more. It is the largest meeting of mathematicians in the world. The meetings were held in Denver, CO, January 15–18, 2020.

  • Sarah Friday ’21 and Jordan Smith ’20 presented “Diagonalizing the Undiagonalizable,” research based and expanding on a 2019 SCOPE project with Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura. Aaron Waclawczyk ’21 was a coauthor who helped extend the SCOPE work. The presentation was in the AMS contributed-paper session on algebra and algebraic geometry.
  • Daniela Beckelhymer ’20 presented her mathematics capstone project titled “The Costs and Rewards of Pursuing Different Postsecondary Degrees“ as part of the undergraduate poster session. Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr supervised the project.
  • Marr presented “Choose Your Own Adventure: An Analysis of Interactive Gamebooks Using Graph Theory” in the MAA contributed-paper session “Tell Me a Story: Connections between Mathematics and Performed or Print Narrative.” D’Andre Adams ’21 and Beckelhymer are coauthors.  The presentation was based on their 2017 SCOPE research and their subsequent publication.
  • Marr  coorganized the MAA contributed-paper session on re-envisioning the calculus sequence with coorganizers Robin Cruz, College of Idaho; Tom Halverson, Macalester College; Joel Kilty, Centre College; Alex M. McAllister, Centre College; and Chad Topaz, Williams College.
  • Marr  was a coauthor of the talk “Calculus: Origins, Reforms, and New Directions” with Robin Cruz, College of Idaho; Tom Halverson, Macalester College; Joel Kilty, Centre College; Alex M. McAllister, Centre College; and Chad Topaz, Williams College.
  • Marr and Assistant Professor of Mathematics John D. Ross presented the preliminary report “A Re-Envisioning of the Calculus Sequence for the Modern Student” with coauthors Joel Kilty, Centre College, and Alex M. McAllister, Centre College.
  • Ross  presented “Exploring Big Ideas in Calculus 1 through Bite-Sized IBL Lessons” in the MAA contributed-paper session on inquiry-based learning and teaching.
  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton copresented “Building Community through Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations (SIMIODE)” in the MAA poster session on projects supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Undergraduate Education. Her coauthors were the coprincipal investigators of their NSF grant: Brian Winkel, SIMIODE and emeritus professor from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; Richard C. Harwood, Newberg University; Audrey Malagon, Virginia Wesleyan University; and Patrice Tiffany, Manhattan College. The NSF grant partly funded Shelton’s attendance. Shelton served on the SIMIODE Board of Contributing Advisors, as well as participated in a meeting of her NSF grant coprincipal investigators.
  • Shelton  coorganized the AMS special session “Wall-to-all Modeling Activities in Differential Equations Courses.” Her coorganizers were Janet Fierson, La Salle University, and Brian Winkel, SIMIODE.
  • Shelton  participated in the meeting of the national MAA Committee on Sessions of Contributed Papers.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics Safia Chettih presented the preliminary report “A Combinatorial Model for an Honest ∞-Operad” in the AMS special session on computational and categorical methods in homotopy theory. Her coauthors were L. Bonatto, University of Oxford; A. Linton, University of Southampton; S. Raynor, Macquarie University; M. Roberston, University of Melbourne; and N. Wahl, University of Copenhagen.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics John M. Osborn also attended.
MORE

Expertise

Projective geometry, art and mathematics, harmonic analysis, frame theory

Fumiko Futamura received her MS and PhD from Vanderbilt University in 2007 and her BA from the University of Louisville in 2002. In her free time, she is an artist working primarily in charcoal, pen and ink, oils and crochet, but she dabbles in everything from photography to ceramics. She shares her passion for mathematics and art with her students in classes like Geometry and Explorations in Mathematics, empowering and engaging them through hands-on activities and active learning. She also shares this love through public lectures and workshops at venues such as NerdNite, Japan America Society of Greater Austin, the Phi Beta Kappa honors society, Art.Science.Gallery and the Thinkery. She is the author of a TED-Ed video, The Mathematics of Sidewalk Illusions, and is writing a textbook with co-authors Annalisa Crannell and Marc Frantz titled Perspective and Projective Geometry. 

“Mathematics is the most elusive of all the arts. It took 8 years of serious study to even begin to understand the medium and begin to work with it in a creative way. Math is art. I wouldn’t be a mathematician otherwise.”
- Fumiko Futamura

  • Fumiko Futamura received her MS and PhD from Vanderbilt University in 2007 and her BA from the University of Louisville in 2002. In her free time, she is an artist working primarily in charcoal, pen and ink, oils and crochet, but she dabbles in everything from photography to ceramics. She shares her passion for mathematics and art with her students in classes like Geometry and Explorations in Mathematics, empowering and engaging them through hands-on activities and active learning. She also shares this love through public lectures and workshops at venues such as NerdNite, Japan America Society of Greater Austin, the Phi Beta Kappa honors society, Art.Science.Gallery and the Thinkery. She is the author of a TED-Ed video, The Mathematics of Sidewalk Illusions, and is writing a textbook with co-authors Annalisa Crannell and Marc Frantz titled Perspective and Projective Geometry. 

    “Mathematics is the most elusive of all the arts. It took 8 years of serious study to even begin to understand the medium and begin to work with it in a creative way. Math is art. I wouldn’t be a mathematician otherwise.”
    - Fumiko Futamura

  • Fumiko Futamura’s research lies at the intersection of projective geometry and mathematical perspective. She has co-authored papers on mathematically analyzing Albrecht Dürer’s engravings, understanding the image of a square, finding distortion-free points and sets in photographs, and a new method of determining where to stand to correctly view a two-point perspective painting. She has also published papers in harmonic analysis and frame theory. 

  • Recent: 

    • Jul 2018: Perspectives of a Mathematician Artist, Honors Summer Math Camp Colloquium for high school students, Texas State University
    • Apr 2018: How to Mathematically Immerse Yourself in Art, University Lecture Series, Texas State University
    • Apr 2018: When Artists Become Mathematicians, public lecture, Phi Beta Kappa (En)Lightning Talks Houston
    • Feb 2018: Learning station on hyperbolic crochet coral reefs, Hot Science, Cool Talks, Environmental Science Institute, UT Austin
    • July 2017: Fractals in Japanese Woodblock Prints, Academic Lecture Series, Japan America Society of Greater Austin
    • Jan 2017: The Mathematics of Sidewalk Illusions, TED-Ed Animation and Lesson
    • Dec 2016: Learning station on hyperbolic crochet: Fuzzy Math, Thinkery21 at the Thinkery, Austin, TX
    • Feb 2016: Learning session: Mathematics of perspective drawing, Operation Math Girls Conference for high school students, Sam Houston State University, TX

In the News

  • Southwestern Alum and Math Faculty Win Prizes for Coauthored Paper

    Robert Lehr ’15 and Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura receive the Carl B. Allendoerfer Award