Emma Waters

Date of Award


First Advisor

Kenneth Knox

Second Advisor

Ben Krupka


Art and math have always been inseparable friends. Collaborations between the two are found throughout all of history. In this project, I contribute to this tradition by combining dance and math. I was motivated by a desire to write an algorithm that sorts improvised dances on a stage such that similar dances are closest together. Math is inherently a performance, one riddled with anxiety for many people. I reflect on these connections in the early stages of this thesis. I then develop new notation to aid my brainstorming, and I explore multiple possible approaches to the question. Finally, I landed on a solution using Principal Component Analysis and a novel dance vectorization technique. This dance implicitly explores how individuals respond to the same inputs, what themes are commonly brought up by a single song, and the beauty of the individual within the collective. The validity of the results is not as convincing as I’d like, but the goal of exploring art through mathematical means was achieved. The final video ("Points and Joints") can be found at: WQjMh4

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