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Art of Science 2021: Exhibition


Virtual Gallery: 20 Finalists Showcased in a 3D Exhibition

Video Submissions: 5 Video Finalists Provide Experiences in Moving Picture

Image Gallery: For a More Traditional Viewing Experience

Awardees: See This Year's Art of Science Winners

Vote and Comment: Decide the Winner of the People's Choice Award

View Comments: See the Discussion about this Year's Exhibition

Sponsors and Credits: Those Who Made this Possible

Virtual Gallery



On the Sensations of Tone VIII - Alex Chechile (CCRMA)

This piece evokes a physiological effect that requires specific acoustic conditions. Adjust the volume level until the described phenomenon is detected, and do not use headphones. Explore different head positions while listening, and for a stronger effect, extend your hands around your outer ears.

Difference tones are sounds produced in the ear and perceived as emerging from within the head. The simultaneous presentation of at least two tones in a specific ratio and amplitude will create difference tones in the inner ear and the auditory pathway.

On the Sensations of Tone is a series of compositions that explore the physicality of sound and spatial depth by stimulating the ears to generate sounds of their own. During the composition of On the Sensations of Tone VIII, a spectral analysis of the orchestral crotales revealed notes containing frequencies in the proper amplitude and ratio for eliciting difference tones. Sounding two notes produces as many as four or more difference tones. In the finished piece, pitch content from the acoustic space later returns exclusively in the listener’s ears. Microscopic and macroscopic listening is possible by shifting attention between the acoustic tones, the ear tones, and all audible sound.

Neurossemblage - Ceyda Basak Tekin (Neuroscience)

The Assemblage of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computed Tomography method—the Neurosamblage gets its inspiration from a neuro-imaging technique called the Structural Imaging Method. Neuroimaging methods, such as structural, functional, and stimulation methods, could be defined as an experimental and medical technique that allows human or animal brain structure or function to be studied, preferably in vivo in the current context. And the basic principle of the MRI method is the directional magnetic field or moment, that is associated with charged particles in motion. A strong magnetic field moves over the body to pick up radio waves from hydrogen atoms in water molecules. Different areas of the brain have different densities, which are due to the different amounts of fluid in the tissues and structures. These radiate differing amounts of radio waves, producing different amounts of shading on the image produced, so the MRI method images the structures and parts of the brain in the 3D image. And the computerized tomography method is a type of X-ray that uses a computer to create cross-sectional images of the body. The dye injected to perform CT angiography is called a contrast material because it "lights up" blood vessels that are being studied. In the Neurosamblage Work, It is possible to see examples of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computerized Tomography methods to examine the anatomical structures of Circle of Willis Blood Vessels.


Blossom - Huaxin Gong (Chemical Engineering)


Ice crystals have beautiful microscopic structures. This video shows the growth process of an ice crystal under an optical microscope. The ice crystal keeps growing on a nucleus when the temperature is gradually decreasing. It looks like a blossoming flower.

Meditation on an orchid - Samuel Bray (Bioengineering)


"Life moves at many timescales.

This time lapse of my orchid was captured over several weeks (left). In this time we see everything from roaming insects, to rhythmic pulses with the daily light cycle, to progression of a blossom.

A form of deep learning called style transfer is then used to color the images using the textures and colors of acrylic pieces made to represent the different stages of the blooms progression.

Many organisms operate at a pace far from our normal conscious, but are no less alive than what we are perceive as active around us"

Here Is My Mind - James Stieger (Neurology)


Alan Watts relates the tale of a man who approached Bodhidharma pleading “I have no peace of mind, please, pacify my mind,” wherein Bodhidharma replies “bring forth your mind so that I may pacify it”. So moral of the story goes, the man is to search for his mind, only to find that, somehow, the harder he tries, it's supposedly substantial and ever-present nature becomes increasingly ephemeral and illusory; that the dynamic effervescence between inside and out is but one more dimension to coalesce around; that divine intervention is more akin to a kite in the wind than this original sin of conviction that ours is the way; that we're often too blind to recognize the games that we play along this particularly practiced, skewed, and heavy sided axis of madness labeled "I," "Ego," and "Me" whose domain and range is the sole genesis of suffering; and that all we need to do is let go. Then, maybe, we'd come to believe, in Watts’ words, "that what you see during the experience of 'satori', 'awakening', or whatever you want to call it, is that this 'now moment', in which I’m talking, and you're listening, is eternity." My goal is to return to Bodhidharma before my bones are brittle and my soul is weak, bringing forth new, real-time neuro technologies to wake us from this dream. Then, bowing my head before his feet, plead, "Here is my mind. It can’t be ignored. Better yet, here's yours: show me wisdom, show me compassion, show me how to use my brain to be a more enlightened being because at this point the metaphors aint cutting it." We live in an era where machines can learn, and computers can see, in a time where we can rewrite the very code of biology. We are no longer bound by the fabric of reality, but rather by the extent of our imagination

This video displays brain activity during meditation recorded with high-density electroencephalography. This visualization is an attempt to create a new type of meditation object by mapping wavelet transformed time-frequency neural data onto a virtual surface. Each 'pie slice' represents the brain activity of the entire cortex at a given frequency. Points closer to the center of the object map to frontal electrodes and those on the periphery map to occipital, or visual, electrodes. Low frequencies are in the upper portion of the display and higher frequencies are in the lower portion. The height of the surface represents the power of the signal at a given frequency and location, while the color represents the phase. The left-right mirror symmetry employed helps the observer recognize consistent patterns. While we have sat for millennia watching our breath, there is no reason why we can't create a more informative and engaging object for our attention. Through presenting a practitioner's brain activity to them in real-time, I believe we can accelerate the awakening process, especially if these systems are designed to help users approximate brain state patterns found in our living sages during deep states of meditation.


Traditional Gallery

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The 25 Art of Science finalist pieces are repeated and presented in multiple formats to account for various technical limitations of our exhibition and your ability to view the work. The virtual reality exhibition space is a fun way to engage our pieces but only supports static 2D images. As a result we have embedded videos below the virtual reality space. All 2D images are also replicated in the static gallery space in case there are technical difficulties in experiencing the virtual reality space. We recognize these various presentation formats introduce biases in how the works are interpreted. We ask our judges and our audience to work against these biases and appreciate the works themselves. If you have trouble seeing a piece, try using a different browser. If a problem persists or you have a question about the exhibition, please email



Congratulations to the 2021 Art of Science Exhibition Awardees



1st Place Prize:


Streams of Dark Matter

Ralf Kaehler, Tom Abel



2nd Place Prize:


Lithium Nightmare

Xin Xu, Geoff McConohy

Materials Science And Engineering


3rd Place Prize:



Steven Boeynaems



People's Choice Award:


The Aging Brain

Paloma Navarro and Ximena Fernandez



You're Part of the Exhibition Too


After reviewing all of the finalists, please vote for your favorite art using the google form below. The finalist with the most votes will be awarded the "People's Choice Award". You can also leave a comment for other's to see. An email address compatible with Google email services is required to complete the google form. We apologize to those exhibition attendees who do not use Google email services.





Blossom is a very nice video! - GC

Neurossemblage is a great film with such brilliant composition of scientific components. - L.W.

Glorious effects. - Anonymous

Cosmological Chaos is just awesome! - Triassi Family

Enjoyed the art show! - Mosky

Very creative submissions all around! Enjoyed the variety in media used, I hope it invites new audiences to become curious about these fields. - Cameron Y.

Beautiful art, beautiful minds. - Anonymous

Cosmological Chaos is beautiful. Well done to all the artists! - M. DiPaolo

Absolutely brilliant, bold, and vivacious masterpieces! - Derry Stones

Beautiful clicks, science meets art and magic happens!!! - Ankita Chattopadhyay

Go Ahanjit!!!!! - BC

A striking contrast between abstract art and concrete science, yet displayed so complementarily. Amazing piece! - ME

Amazing work everyone! - Anonymous

David Cyncynates’s art work is absolutely stunning! The best! - Mary Sage-Saks in Boca Raton, Florida

Love the virtual gallery presentation and lots of interesting projects to view! - Anonymous

Nice capture. Vesicles are awesome - Anonymous

Congratulations to all the participants - Anonymous

Wonderful art with a great meaning - Anonymous

Love the piece on microscopic growth! - Anonymous



Sponsors and Credits


Art of Science is sponsored by the Materials Science and Engineering Department, the School of Engineering, the Graduate Student Council, the Graduate Students in Electrical Engineering, and the Stanford Energy Club.


Art of Science would not be possible without our incredible judges. To learn more about this year's judges, visit the welcome page.


Art of Science is organized by the Stanford Materials Research Society


Organizing Committee:

Elissa Klopfer, Risa Hocking, Pooja Reddy, Dante Zakhidov, Melody Wang, Harry Thaman, Emily Lindgren, Gabriel Lipkowitz and Andrew Lee