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Dr. William Ko, Aerospace Engineer, Engineering Directorate, Aerostructures Branch, Dryden Flight Research Center

NTB: You still do the watercolors, right?

Dr. Ko: Yes, I still do.

NTB: If you had to choose, would you rather be remembered as a great engineer, or as a great artist?

Dr. Ko: Both. I’d like to be remembered as a scientist, as an inventor, and as a watercolor artist. At this moment, Blatz-Ko is quite famous now, and the Ko Displacement Theory will be another famous accomplishment. I also developed a watercolor mathematical law for watercolor painting.

NTB: Really? Explain that for us.

Dr. Ko: Watercolors are transparent colors. When you paint red first, and after it dries you paint yellow, then you get red, yellow, and orange; you get three colors. If you put one more layer of a different color, you will generate seven colors. So, my equation describes how many colors you can generate.

NTB: So you’ve basically reduced the art – or expanded the art – by explaining it with a mathematical equation?

Dr. Ko: Art is mathematics, and watercolor paper is a fibrous material. If you wet the paper, you have to study the diffusion process of the water, so I also developed a diffusion equation to estimate how fast the water diffuses inside the paper.

For more information, contact Dr. William Ko at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..