2006 Visualization Challenge

From Science:

Images_2 The still life on the cover of this week’s issue of Science is not a photograph but a computer-generated rendering of five famous mathematical surfaces. The result, created by Richard Palais of the University of California, Irvine, and graphic artist Luc Benard, is a virtuoso display of modern computer-graphics technology. (Notice how the glassy surfaces are reflected in one another and in the glass-covered, wood-grained tabletop.)

The image is the first-place winner in the illustration category of the 2006 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. As Benard and Palais wrote in their application, “Mathematicians have always needed to ‘see’ the complex concepts they work with in order to reason with them effectively. In the past, they conjured up mental images as best they could, but the wonders of computer graphics provide them with far more detailed pictures to think with.”

More here.