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It was designed by Adrian Ocneanu, a professor of pure mathematics at Penn State, which commissioned the sculpture. Ocneanu was also an International Mathematical Olympiad gold medalist in 1974 by recording a perfect score for his native country, Romania.
A more complete technical explanation of the sculpture, including how it came to be made, how its construction was funded and its role in mathematics and physics, has been made available by Penn State.
In addition Ocneanu has provided his own detailed commentary. The octacube provides a physical means of visualising quantum symmetries associated with exceptional structures arising in the theory of subfactors, initiated by Vaughan Jones.
See also 
- Adrian Ocneanu's results at the International Mathematical Olympiad
- Playboy, March 2006, page 151.
- News bulletin on the Octacube, Department of Mathematics, Penn State University, 13 October 2005 (accessed 2013-05-06)
- The mathematics of the octacube[dead link], a website maintained by Adrian Ocneanu.
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