A Minimal Winter's Tale

By Ivars Peterson, 15:47 PM April 15, 2008

The organizers of the Breckenridge snow sculpture championships in Colorado must be getting used to having a mathematical element in their annual competition.

For the second year in a row, a team assembled by mathematician Stan Wagon of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., participated in the international event. In its debut effort last year, the team carved a huge block of packed snow into a spectacular version of a minimal geometric structure known as the Costa surface (see Minimal Snow ...

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