MATH AWARENESS MONTH - APRIL 2003

MATHEMATICS AND ART

Announcement - January 2003

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ANNOUNCEMENT


To: Mathematical Sciences Community

Date: January 2003

Re: MATHEMATICS AWARENESS MONTH, April 2003


The Joint Policy Board for Mathematics announces that this year's Mathematics Awareness Month focuses on the connections between mathematics and art.

The connection between mathematics and art goes back thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans used mathematics in sculptures and to aesthetically design buildings. In the 15th century Leonardo da Vinci wrote "Let no one read me who is not a mathematician." In the 16th century Durer employed mathematics to introduce perspective in drawings. In the 18th and 19th centuries mathematics was extensively used in the design of Gothic cathedrals, Rose windows, mosaics and tilings. In the 20th century geometric forms were fundamental to the cubists and many abstract expressionists. In recent decades several award winning sculptors have used topology as the basis for their pieces. The close connection between mathematics and art is most readily seen in the works of the Dutch artist M. C. Escher. Among the mathematical ideas represented in his work are: infinity, Möbius bands, tessellations, deformations, reflections, Platonic solids, spirals, symmetry, and the hyperbolic plane.

The Mathematics Awareness Month poster for 2003 features an Escher-like computer-drawn tessellation of the Poincaré model of hyperbolic plane created by Douglas Dunham. The Mathematics Awareness Month web site /mam/ includes essays, links, and recommended books and speakers. Financial support for Mathematics Awareness Month 2003 is provide by the National Security Agency.

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