Mathematicians and scientists have used graphs, diagrams, and other visuals to advance understanding in their disciplines from at least the time of Euclid; Leonardo da Vinci was one such practitioner. Last month, Italy celebrated the 500th anniversay of da Vinci’s death. SIAM News’s resident cartoonist, John dePillis, presented invited talks at Politecnico di Torino, the University of Verona, the University of Ferrara, and the University of Bologna in honor of the occasion. In the spirit of the national celebration, he described how his own artistic skills led him to a deeper understanding of special relativity.
“Lazy? Me? On the contrary! According to Einstein, I am a mass, which equates to a lot of energy.” John dePillis created and presented this cartoon as part of his talks at four Italian universities on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death.