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.

Mathematicians and artists continue to create stunning works in all media and to explore the visualization of mathematics--origami, computer-generated landscapes, tesselations, fractals, anamorphic art, and more.

Most viewed
Hamid Naderi Yeganeh, "Heart" (November 2014)1892 viewsThis image contains a heart-like figure. It shows 601 line segments. For each i=1, 2, 3, .... , 601 the endpoints of the i-th line segment are:
(sin(10π(i+699)/2000), cos(8π(i+699)/2000))
(sin(12π(i+699)/2000), cos(10π(i+699)/2000)).

I created this image by running my program. --- Hamid Naderi Yeganeh
"Aristolochia Grandiflora," by S. Louise Gould, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain (2008)1876 viewsInkjet print on treated silk, quilted and sparsely beaded to emphasize symmetries, 20" x 21.5". "My artwork usually connects textiles or paper with mathematical, specifically geometric ideas. 'Aristolochia Grandiflora' is a floral fractal. When I first saw the plant at Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids in full bloom in May, it seemed a natural subject for exploring the seventeen wallpaper patterns in the plane. Starting with a photograph that I had taken in the garden, I sampled sections of the plant image and used KaleidoMania to generate samples of each of the seventeen wallpaper patterns. These were printed on 8.5 by 11 inch treated silk pages and folded, cut, pieced, quilted and beaded to create mathematical art to wear." --- S. Louise Gould, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT
"Artistic View of the Klein Bottle," by Jean-Francois Colonna (Centre de Mathematiques Appliquees, Ecole Polytechnique)1859 viewsIn mathematics, the Klein Bottle is a non-orientable surface, i.e. a surface with no distinct "inner" or "outer" sides. Other related non-orientable objects include the Mobius strip and the real projective plane. Whereas a Mobius strip is a two-dimensional object with one side and one edge, a Klein bottle is a three-dimensional object with one side and no edges.
"Clover-52," by Jean-Francois Colonna (Centre de Mathematiques Appliquees, Ecole Polytechnique)1855 viewsThis image shows the lack of associativity for addition and multiplication inside a computer. In order to be able to obtain the exact same results over the years for a certain computation, I did include the definition of some "devices" in my own programming language, which allow the definition of the precise order of the arithmetic operations: +, -, *, and / (by the way, parentheses won't do that, for example, X=A+(B+C) does not mean T=B+C then X=A+T).

This opens the door to something very powerful: The possibility to dynamically redefine the arithmetic used when launching a program. This picture and "Clover-51" are the results of the combination of eight elementary pictures: 3-clover, 4-clover, ... ,10-clover with substitutions like (A+B) --> MAX (A,B), (A*B) --> (A+B).
27-torus.jpg1852 views"The 27-Crossing Torus Knot T(9,4)," by Dror Bar-Natan (University of Toronto, Canada)

This is an example of a torus knot. A torus is a surface best described as a doughnut. A torus knot can be thought of as looping around and through the torus. The symbol T(9,4) means that the string making the knot loops through the hole of the torus 9 times, making 4 revolutions. This knot is drawn with TubePlot.

--- Dror Bar-Natan
"Recursive Construction for Sliding Disks," Adrian Dumitrescu, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (2008)1852 viewsDigital print, 11" x 5". "Given a pair of start and target configurations, each consisting of n pairwise disjoint disks in the plane, what is the minimum number of moves that suffice for transforming the start configuration into the target configuration? In one move a disk slides in the plane without intersecting any other disk, so that its center moves along an arbitrary (open) continuous curve. One can easily show that 2n moves always suffice, while the above construction shows pairs of configurations that require 2n-o(n) moves for this task, for every sufficiently large n. Disks in the start configuration are white, and disks in the target configuration are shaded. " --- Adrian Dumitrescu, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
"Recursive Figure-8 Knot" by Carlo Sequin, University of California, Berkeley1848 viewsIn some depictions of a mathematical knot, some of the meshes formed between the criss-crossing strands resemble the overall outline shape of the whole knot. It is then possible to fit a reduced copy of the knot into every one of these meshes and reconnect the strands so as to obtain again a mathematical knot consisting of a single closed strand. Then this process can be continued recursively resulting in a self-similar pattern. This general process was applied to the 4-crossing Figure-8 knot. But rather than performing this process in a drawing plane as outlined above, subsequent generations of reduced knot instances were placed in planes that are roughly perpendicular to one another, resulting in a truly 3-dimensional sculpture. --- Carlo Sequin
"Twice Iterated Knot No. 1," by Robert Fathauer, Tessellations Company (2008)1839 viewsThird Prize, 2009 Mathematical Art Exhibition. Digital print, 19" x 12". Fathauer makes limited-edition prints inspired by tiling, fractals, and knots. He employs mathematics in his art to express his fascination with certain aspects of our world, such as symmetry, complexity, chaos, and infinity.

"The starting point for this iterated knot is a nine-crossing knot that has been carefully arranged to allow seamless iteration. Four regions of this starting knot are replaced with a scaled-down copy of the full starting knot, incorporated in such a way that the iterated knot is still unicursal. These same four regions are then replaced with a scaled-down copy of the iterated knot, resulting in a complex knot possessing self similarity." --- Robert Fathauer, Small business owner, puzzle designer and artist, Tessellations Company, Phoenix, AZ
"Arabic Icosahedron" by Carlo Sequin, University of California, Berkeley1827 viewsMoorish patterns found in the Alhambra often depict lattices of interlocking knots. Here such a pattern composed of interlocking trefoil knots has been wrapped around an icosahedron. Each of the 20 faces is replaced with a trefoil knot, which interlocks along the triangle edges with three adjacent trefoils. The exact nature of the linking between adjacent trefoils leaves some freedom to the designer: In the simplest case two adjacent trefoils interlock with just one lobe each. In the "Arabic Icosahedron" they are linked with two lobes each, resulting in a much tighter meshing. --- Carlo Sequin
Mandelbrot Set1819 viewsA striking aspect of this image is its self-similarity: Parts of the set look very similar to larger parts of the set, or to the entire set itself. The boundary of the Mandelbrot Set is an example of a fractal, a name derived from the fact that the dimensions of such sets need not be integers like two or three, but can be fractions like 4/3. See more at the 3D-XplorMath Fractal Gallery.

--- Richard Palais (Univ. of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA)
"Persian Rug (Recursian I)," by Anne M. Burns (Long Island University, Brookville, NY)1810 viewsAn applet uses a recursive (repeatedly applied) procedure to make designs that resemble Persian rugs. You may choose 3 parameters a, b and c, and one of 6 color palettes each consisting of 16 colors numbered 0 through 15. The parameter c ( 0 through 15) represents an initial color. A 257 by 257 square is drawn in the color numbered c. Label the 4 corner colors c1, c2, c3 and c4 (at the initial stage they will all be c). then a new color is determined by the formula a + (c1+c2+c3+c4)/b mod 16 and a horizontal and vertical line that divide the original square into 4 new squares are drawn in the new color. The procedure is repeated recursively until all the pixels are filled in. Read more about "Persian" Recursians, enter the parameters and click on Draw rugs, and download a Windows Program that makes "Persian" rugs, at --- Anne M. Burns (Long Island University, Brookville, NY)
"Fractal Scene I," by Anne M. Burns1795 views"Mathscapes" are created using a variety of mathematical formulas. The clouds and plant life are generated using fractal methods. The mountains are created using trigonometric sums with randomly generated coefficients; then, using 3-D transformation, they are projected onto the computer screen. Value and color are functions of the dot product of the normal to the surface with a specified light vector. See the Gallery of "Mathscapes and find citations for my articles on modeling trees, plants and mountains, and on "blending and dithering," at --- Anne M. Burns (Long Island University, Brookville, NY)
"20 circles in an icosahedron pattern" by Bradford Hansen-Smith1792 viewsAn icosahedron is a solid with 20 faces. This solid has hexagons on its surface with pentagonal indentations. The symbol of the circle is used as metaphor for nothing and for everything, and endless parts in-between. Folding circles appears to have little history: Somewhere in the history of origami lies the circle, unrecognized and discarded in favor of the square; Buckminster Fuller also folded the circle, with informational intent. Fuller is the inspiration for my own exploration into geometry and provided the seed for folding and joining circles-9" paper plates.

--Bradford Hansen-Smith, Wholemovement
"D-260" Acrylic on paper1785 viewsThis painting has a grid over the ground of the painting which follows the alternating sequence of opaque color, and open spaces. The underlaying image is based on the number 11 and the toroid form also alternates with light "spokes" and darker "spokes." A circular gradation of color radiates within the darker blue color.
"Two Squares (2006)," by Edmund Harriss (University of Leicester)1782 viewsPrinted on Canvas 36" x 36". This is based on the Ammann-Beenker Tiling. Along with Ammann Squares this work explores the extension of the work of Raymond Brownell ( to more complicated geometry. The Ammann-Beenker tiling is the eight-fold sibling of the more famous, five-fold Penrose rhomb tiling. It was discovered independently by R. Ammann and F. Beenker. Like the Penrose tiling, the Ammann-Beenker can be constructed by two particular methods. The first method is uses the substitution rule, and the second method is to construct the tiling as a planar slice of a four dimensional lattice (in much the same way that a computer draws a line using the pixels of its screen) and then project this to the plane.
See more information at

--- Edmund Harriss
667 files on 45 page(s) 8

American Mathematical Society