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Home > 2014 Mathematical Art Exhibition
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"Eleven and Nine Stars," by B Lynn Bodner (Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ)

20" x 16", paper and ink computer-generated image, 2013

"Geometric Islamic patterns, especially those consisting predominantly of star polygons, fascinate me. "

This pattern was created using Euclidean construction techniques and the electronic equivalent of the compass and straightedge. It was based on a rectangular repeat unit sketch known as Catalog Number 42 (CN42) of the Topkapi Scroll, which contains 114 Islamic architectural and ornamental designs dating from the 15th or 16th century. CN42 has half 11-stars along its vertical edges and half 9-stars along its horizontal edges. To achieve a complete pattern, this repeat unit must be replicated by reflection across its edges. The image displayed here contains four colored copies of the CN42 repeat unit. Since CN42 is the only sketch in the Topkapi Scroll containing 11-pointed star polygons, it was one of the more challenging ones to recreate. --- B. Lynn Bodner (

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American Mathematical Society