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Home > Frank Farris :: Seeing Symmetry
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"A Frieze Sampler," by Frank A. Farris, Santa Clara University, CA

Digital print on aluminum, 20" x 24", 2016

Friezes take their name from an architectural feature: a band of decoration typically along the top of a wall. In the theory of plane symmetry, the first famous classification result says that there exist exactly seven types of frieze patterns. Every pattern ever constructed by anyone, as long as it repeats exactly along one direction, can be classified as belonging to one of these seven types. Mathematicians, like many humans, like to collect exactly one artifact of each type. Here is my sampler of seven friezes, made from source photographs of California wildflowers. I especially like the fourth one down, which exemplifies a glide reflection symmetry—a flip-and-slide motion that leaves the pattern unchanged. --- Frank A. Farris

AlchemistsShelf.jpg AutumnMoths.jpg FriezeSampler2024.jpg IcosOnVase16x20.jpg MossyFrogs.jpg

American Mathematical Society