**
**

**View Bruce & Katharine Cornwell's
Congruent Triangles
and Journey to the Center of a Triangle**

Bruce and Katharine Cornwell are primarily known for a series of remarkable
animated films on the subject of geometry. Created on the Tektronics 4051
Graphics Terminal, they are brilliant short films,
tracing geometric shapes to intriguing music, including the memorable 'Bach
meets Third Steam Jazz' musical
score in ‘Congruent Triangles.’ Their work, distributed by the defunct
International Film Bureau, is now out of distribution.

As a World War II **
WAC**, Katharine
Marie Seremal was involved in investigating the ENIAC computer
for bomb survey analysis, which fueled her interest in mathematics. Bruce
Haynes Cornwell, who in WWII set up radio transmitters in the South Pacific,
eventually returned to earn a degree in cartography at at University of
Wisconsin. Bruce created graphics for a television station in Madison, Wisconsin, where he was
also engaged with the local public radio station. The Cornwells were married in
1956 and eventually moved to Brooklyn, NY. Like many other makers of quality academic film, the Cornwells
found it made better financial sense to have additional careers. In New York, he
worked in the brand new Geographic Information Services department of an
industrial engineering firm, Gibbs & Hill, starting in the late 1970s, working
on a 640x480 raster graphics display system with 24-bit color. Later he
supervised aspects of computerized mapping for the NYC Department of City
Planning, and his last position was with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden doing
similar work on a much smaller scale for their plant records department. Katharine
became a consultant specializing in executive compensation. Eventually, Bruce taught
at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, the New School, and the School of
Visual Arts.

Bruce has stated that his interest in math films was influenced by his
seeing Disney’s ‘Donald in Mathmagic Land,’ which prompted his comment
"anyone with half a brain and one hand tied behind his back could make a
better film." Bruce **
passed away** on January 26, 2012, and Katharine
on March 4, 2013, at the age of 93.

**Filmography**

**For the Mathematical Association Of America** in conjunction with Stanford University,
a number of films of at least fourteen titles were produced at the Cornwells' studio for the MAA Calculus
series from 1965-1968, under various directors.
This may be an incomplete list (hanks to researcher Greg Javer for contributing
many of these titles). We do not have the
names of most of these films, but among them are:

**Area Under a Curve**

Definite integral

Continuity of Mappings

Definite Integral as a Limit

Function is a Mapping

Fundamental Theorem of the Calculus

I maximize

Infinite Acres

**Limit** (1965) 10m

**Newton's Method**

Theorem of the Mean Policeman (1966, dir. H.M. MacNeille), 15m

**Volume by Shells**

Volume of a Solid of Revolution (1965, prod. B&K Cornwell), 8m

**What is Area?**

For Houghton Mifflin, the Cornwells, in conjunction with Duane W. Bailey, made a
1973 series called 'Calculus in
Motion,' consisting of eight 3 minute, color, animated, silent 8mm
loops. They were available as either Technicolor Magicartridges or Kodak
Cassettes. They are:

**Concavity and Points of inflection**

Definite
Integral, The

Derivatives

Fundamental Theorem

Functions

Limits

Rolle's Theorem and the Mean Value Theorem

Taylor Polynomials

They also made a series for Houghton Mifflin in 1974 called 'Relativity: a
Series of Computer animated Films, in conjunction with Robert Ehrlich, again on
Super 8mm silent cartridges. All are 4 minutes in length. The films are:

**
Coordinate Transformations**

Doppler Effect and the Twin Paradox, The

Length
Contraction

Michelson-Morley Experiment, The

Simultaneity is Relative

Speed of Projectiles. The: Sound and Light, Time Dilation, and World
Lines.

Cornwell films distributed by the International Film Bureau (IFB):