Heart Knot

2022-06-20. Filed in public, twoville.

Last week my department put on a summer camp on coding and physical fabrication. One of the students was looking for inspiration for a design to make on the laser-cutter, and I suggested searching for mathemathical knots on the web. The student found the heart knot, which could be traced using the three turtle geometry commands we had been using: walk, turn, and curl. The knot provides a nice intellectual challenge because of its varying lengths and radii.

I helped the student get started but had to leave to go cut some objects. When I returned to the room, one of our teaching assistants wondered about the student using the mirror command to complete the knot. I advised against it because I thought it would complicate the programming. However, after the camp wrapped up and the dust settled, I sat down and coded up the heart knot myself. After I fixed a bug, I found the mirror command was perfectly suited to the task:

I hereby declare that teaching assistant Makenzie was absolutely right and I was wrong about the mirror command. Thank you for the suggestion! The feeling that someone else understands one's software better than oneself is gratifying.