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The Nature Methods Points of View column column offers practical advice in design and data presentation for the busy scientist.

It's Snowing in my CPU — a Snowflake catalogue

The snowflake was born on a cold, winter's day far up in the sky, many miles above earth.
— Paul Gallico, Snowflake

Go ahead, meet some snowflakes.

lipathda
oberverto
monia
micheel
lomoteria
luusfol
lenberd

Somewhere in the world, it's snowing. But you don't need to go far—it's always snowing on this page. Explore light flurries, snowflake families and individual flakes. There are many unusual snowflakes and snowflake family 12 and family 46 are very interesting.

But don't settle for only pixel snowflakes—make an STL file and 3D print your own flakes!

Ad blockers may interfere with some flake images—the names of flakes can trigger ad filters.

And if after reading about my flakes you want more, get your frozen fix with Kenneth Libbrecht's excellent work and Paul Gallico's Snowflake.

This is a collection of snowflakes simulated using the Gravner-Griffeath model, composed of 15,541 snowflakes grouped into 50 families using k-means clustering. This snowflake collection took 128.4 CPU days to compute.

Flakes are categorized by gender. A flake is categorized as female if the freezing parameter `\kappa < \kappa_{\text{median}}`, otherwise it is male.

Each snowflake is also given a unique name generated from a recursive neural network assigned alphabetically based on the snowflake's `\theta` attachment parameter.

snowflake artwork

So, we drew things.


 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
A flake grows. (BUY ARTWORK)

 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
16 girl snowflakes (BUY ARTWORK)

 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
16 boy snowflakes (BUY ARTWORK)


 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
The effect of the `\mu` parameter on the shape of a snowflake. (BUY ARTWORK)

 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
The effect of the `\theta` parameter on the shape of a snowflake. (BUY ARTWORK)

 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Neradia. (BUY ARTWORK)

a hundred frozen things

Click on a flake to explore it.

girl snowflakes


boy snowflakes



© 1999–2022 Martin Krzywinski | contact | Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences CentreBC Cancer Research CenterBC CancerPHSA