House of Math

By Justin Davidson - 2013-03-05T00:52:48Z

Photograph by Dean Kaufman/Bloomberg Pursuits

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Three-Dimensional Puzzle

The multifaceted foyer culminates in a skylight that frames a soaring Frank Gehry building. New York architect David Hotson, who -- eager to burst beyond his portfolio of sleek, understated interiors -- seized the chance to create an intricate three-dimensional puzzle. To help Hotson along, his mathematically minded client sent him his dissertation, about an algorithm capable of discerning the structure underpinning complex sequences of symbols: a Bach partita, a human genome, a sonnet. It turns out that if you feed in enough data, a computer can deduce the principles of counterpoint, heredity and Elizabethan verse.