Or they just look fancy and that's why it was put there ?

  • $\begingroup$ Because it looks so ..cute? $\endgroup$
    – imranfat
    Apr 14 '14 at 20:30
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    $\begingroup$ For an excellent mathematical logo, see here. $\endgroup$ Apr 14 '14 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ Can you understand its perspective? Or you got dizzy? $\endgroup$
    – Sigur
    Apr 14 '14 at 20:33
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    $\begingroup$ No longer red :P $\endgroup$ Apr 14 '14 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ It looks good, I am not denying that. I can see where it's coming from. Just thought, there might be something more to it, like the symbol for AIM. $\endgroup$ Apr 14 '14 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ See the thread the design of the MSE theme. $\endgroup$ Apr 14 '14 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ Oh I see. So that's what Sigur meant by perspective. Clever! $\endgroup$ Apr 14 '14 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ A very similar older question: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/10128/… (But perhaps not a duplicate, since the older question also asked for suggestions of a new logo.) $\endgroup$ Apr 15 '14 at 6:48
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    $\begingroup$ There's a star in the negative space of the logo. $\endgroup$ Apr 15 '14 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ What a disgrace to have a mathematical inconsistency as our logo! $\endgroup$ Oct 1 '16 at 16:00

As Jin describes it in the original Design Ideas for Mathematics Site post, it's a Penrose triangle made of cubes, with the corner cubes removed:


The absence of the corner cubes makes the "impossible object" illusion somewhat less striking (in fact, I'm not even 100% sure that it's still impossible to construct out of actual cubes), but if you look closely, you can still tell that each cube overlaps the next one counterclockwise from it, such that the cubes cannot be strictly ordered by depth.

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    $\begingroup$ And like the original Penrose triangle, if we interpret the depth cues as intended, then the diagram "depicts a nontrivial element of the first cohomology of an annulus with values in the group of distances from the observer", to steal a phrase from Wikipedia. $\endgroup$ Apr 17 '14 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ @ChrisCulter Well that just went right over my head. $\endgroup$ Apr 17 '14 at 1:40
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    $\begingroup$ @PandaBear Penrose's article "On the Cohomology of Impossible Figures" explains it nicely! Try jstor.org/stable/1575844 or iri.upc.edu/people/ros/StructuralTopology/ST17/st17.html $\endgroup$ Apr 17 '14 at 1:51
  • $\begingroup$ It is actually possible to construct it. (Except the overlaps) Look at it caarefully. I will post a photograph if I get time to make it. $\endgroup$
    – Kartik
    Apr 17 '14 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Kartik: Well, yes, the overlaps are the hard part; if you ignore them, it's trivial. $\endgroup$ Apr 17 '14 at 14:42

It is a type of optical illusion.If viewed from 2-d sense,it is a hexagon bounded by the cubes.But the real fun lies when the figure is viewed from 3-d perspective.If viewed attentively,one can see the cubes are buldging out but becomes confused how they are arranged;either left or right.Sometimes they can be seen arranged in a plane vertical to the base & sometimes they are seeing lying in the base.Just watch it!


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