Historic Oakwood Cemetery, Austin, TX

Christopher DanielsonEventsLeave a Comment

What we learned: Cemeteries are full of numbers, dates, and all kinds of connections to the actuarial sciences. They also offer poetry, history, and a personal connection to the past. At this place, the focus of the conservators is preservation, conservation and respectful fundraising to address the tilting of the monuments caused by unstable soil, tree roots and simply age.

MathHappens: We designed a plumbline with degree angles in a skull and crossbones motif to coordinate with an October fundraiser. We gave visitors the plumb lines and invited them to understand the conservators problem first hand, to consider how the conservators might measure the scope of the problem throughout the cemetery, by identifing the monuments that are at risk, and collecting data to identify the ones that are shifting the most across time. Finally we ask visitors to consider what they might recommend as a conservation plan given a limited budget.

A woman in a sunhat sits at a table filled with wooden measurement devices. She is holding up an information sheet and smiling broadly

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