Math ImageryThe connection between mathematics and art goes back thousands of years. Mathematics has been used in the design of Gothic cathedrals, Rose windows, oriental rugs, mosaics and tilings. Geometric forms were fundamental to the cubists and many abstract expressionists, and award-winning sculptors have used topology as the basis for their pieces. Dutch artist M.C. Escher represented infinity, Möbius bands, tessellations, deformations, reflections, Platonic solids, spirals, symmetry, and the hyperbolic plane in his works.

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Home > 2012 Mathematical Art Exhibition

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"Conical panoramic view of the George Eastman House grounds," by Andrew Davidhazy (Rochester Institute of Technology, NY)Photograph, circa 1990

My area of interest is the application of mathematical concepts in technical applications of photography. Be it quantification of phenomena or the design and use of photography to visualize physical and mathematical concepts. A camera that rotated a circular piece of film past a radial slot acting as a shutter exposed the film for more than two rotations of the camera and thus recorded two plus views of the House grounds each covering a sector of about 120 degrees or so designed so that the 360 degree view of the grounds would produce a sector that could be cut and formed into a conical lampshade. Sometimes this photo is confused with those that a fisheye lens might make but the fisheye lens could only make a single image of the House per frame. Here there are two. --- Andrew Davidhazy (Rochester Institute of Technology, NY,
May 14, 2012
"002 - Julia weaves," by Jean Constant (Santa Fe, NM)20" x 20", Mixed media on canvas, 2011

This is a combination of Julia set fractal and droste effect. Julia Sets are one of the most famous types of fractals formed using formula iteration. The Droste effect depicts a smaller version of itself in a place where a similar picture would realistically be expected to appear. Combining the two effects brings visually significant occurrences explored sometimes more intuitively in medieval architecture, stained glass windows and weaving work . --- Jean Constant (Santa Fe, NM,
May 14, 2012
"Beaded Fullerene of Schwarz's D Surface," by Chern Chuang (MIT, Cambridge, MA), Bih-Yaw Jin (National Taiwan University), Wei-Chi Wei (The Beaded Molecules)23cm x 21cm x 18cm, Faceted plastic beads and fish thread, 2008

Geometry is an essential ingredient of chemistry. The functionality of molecules depends heavily on their geometries. Here is the conjugate surface of the P surface. We chose to construct this surface in a tetrahedral form to avoid unconnected component. In contrast to the P surface, one can find this surface comprising helicoid units of two opposite chiralities, lining up along C2 axes. Octagonal rings are represented by green beads. --- Chern Chuang, (MIT, Cambridge, MA)
May 14, 2012
"A5, Variation I," by Conan Chadbourne (San Antonio, TX)24" x 24", Archival Inkjet Print, 2011

This work is an exploration of the structure of the alternating group on five elements, and its particular presentation by two generators of orders 2 and 5. A stylized Cayley graph of this presentation of the group is shown over its dual graph. The regions in the dual image are colored according to the order of the element in the group. The image is constructed from multiple hand-drawn elements and natural textures which are scanned and digitally manipulated to form a composite image and subsequently output as an archival digital print. --- Conan Chadbourne (San Antonio, TX,
May 14, 2012
"Creamy Blocks," by Anne Burns (Long Island University, Brookville, NY)12 " X 16", Digital print, 2011

I began life as an art major. Much later I became interested in mathematics. When I bought my first computer I found that I could combine my love of art with my love of mathematics. The possibilities are endless. Here, attached to each point in a sequence of points along the lines y = ±x is a vector whose length and direction are determined by a complex function h(x+iy). The color and transparency of the vector are functions of arctan(Im(h)/Re(h)). --- Anne Burns (Long Island University, Brookville, NY
May 14, 2012
"Hyperbolic Tiling I," by Vladimir Bulatov (Corvallis, OR)20" x 20", Digital print, 2011

This is a tiling at the infinity of hyperbolic space. The tiling is generated by reflections in 4 planes. The planes arrangement is obtained from faces of hyperbolic tetrahedron by truncating one vertex and one of opposite edges and moving points of truncation to infinity. The interplay of reflections forms circular area with infinitely many circular holes filled with two dimensional hyperbolic triangle tilings (2 3 24). To color the tiling we use different subgroups of the total symmetry group. --- Vladimir Bulatov (Corvallis, OR,
May 14, 2012
"Equivalent," by Robert Bosch and Derek Bosch (Oberlin College, OH)6" x 6" x 2", Nylon (selective laser sintering), 2011

The mathematician in me is fascinated with the various roles that constraints play in optimization problems: sometimes they make problems much harder to solve; other times, much easier. Equivalent is a three-piece, 3D-printed sculpture that consists of three topologically equivalent variations of the Borromean rings. In the Borromean rings, no two of the three rings are linked, so if any one of them is destroyed, the remaining two rings will come apart. For the photograph, we positioned Equivalent on a piece of Lenox china (a wedding gift). --- Robert Bosch (Oberlin College, OH,
May 14, 2012
"Möbius Hanging Gardens," by Tatiana Bonch-Osmolovskaya (Sydney, Australia)1276 x 1800 pixels, computer graphics, 2011

I use 2D and 3D computer graphics as well as photographs made by myself or my friends, to show the beauty of these objects, thus uniting the intellectual wonder of perceiving a mathematical concept with the aesthetical pleasure of viewing a beautiful image. Hanging gardens of Babylon were built in the desert as a wonder of land amelioration and engineering. In our era humanity continues to perform such wonders, e.g. in desert Australia. While the flowers on my picture, which have grown on the Möbius strip over the Australian plain, were placed there by computer graphics, it is the hard work of those who make the Red Continent green that invokes our admiration. Photographs of Australian views and the Florida festival in Canberra were used in this image. --- Tatiana Bonch-Osmolovskaya (Sydney, Australia,
May 14, 2012
"K_7 embedded on a torus," by sarah-marie belcastro (Hadley, MA)11" x 11" x 4.5", Knitted cotton (Reynolds Saucy), 2010

I am a mathematician who knits as well as a knitter who does mathematics. It has always seemed natural to me to combine mathematics and knitting, and it is inevitable that sometimes the results will be artistic rather than functional. The Heawood bound shows that K_7 is the largest complete graph that can embed on the torus. This is an embedding of K_7 on the torus with all vertices centered on the largest longitude. It is the second knitted instantiation of this embedding; this version is larger and has a larger face-to-edge proportion than the first, which was exhibited at Gathering for Gardner 7 in 2006. --- sarah-marie belcastro (Hadley, MA,
May 14, 2012
"Magneto-2," by Reza Ali (Palo Alto, CA)18" by 24" print, 2011

This image is a snap-shot from a real-time interactive particle simulation using Lorentz's Law to define each particle's movements. The color palette, perspective, magnetic field placement, and rendering style were designed by the artist. Physics and mathematics define the piece's motion and overall pattern formation. --- Reza Ali (Palo Alto, CA,
May 14, 2012
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American Mathematical Society