Auckland Menger Sponge now complete

22 December 2014

Mengamenger

The Department of Mathematics is pleased to announce that after a month and a half of hard work and sheer determination, their Menger Sponge is now complete.

The project first started at the Auckland Art Gallery in October as part of MegaMenger - a global event where 20 locations around the world attempted to build a huge Menger sponge out of 50,000 business cards.   

Like many of the participating locations, Auckland did not quite complete their sponge in the allocated time – but the Department was determined to continue, and so the construction was relocated to the level 4 common room at the end of October.

Over the past four weeks, staff and students in both the Mathematics and Physics departments have put hundreds of hours and many late nights into completing the sponge.  It was a massive effort that has left event organiser, Nicolette Rattenbury, both humbled and excited.

 “The project was only a success due to the generous support of our students and a number of local businesses.  More than 40,000 business cards were donated to us in the end, and our postgraduate students really came together to ensure we had a finished product by Christmas”.

The initial 2 day event at the Auckland Gallery provided a great start to the project, with people of all ages and backgrounds taking part.

“It was great to see so many people from all walks of life interacting with the project, and getting excited by what we were trying to achieve” says Rattenbury.

The project also owes special thanks to Head of Department, Eamonn O'Brien and PhD student Jen Cresser who were key players in its completion.

The Menger sponge is currently located in the Level 4 common room of the Department of Mathematics, and will remain there until March 2015.  All are welcome to come and view it.

NOTE: A Menger Sponge is a three-dimensional fractal, which can be made by taking a cube and cutting out a square section through the centre in each of the three directions; then each of the resulting smaller cubes is cut out in the same way, and so on until you've removed infinitely many pieces. Each Menger Sponge is made from twenty identical-but-smaller Menger Sponges. This results in an object which has zero volume but infinite surface area.