The 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.

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"Kissing in Motion""Kissing in Motion" shows the motion of the "shadows" of kissing spheres in a deformation pointed out by J.H. Conway and N.J.A. Sloane, following an observation of H.S.M. Coxeter. The sequence is left-right, right-left, left-right (sometimes called boustrophedon). The image accompanies "Kissing Numbers, Sphere Packings, and Some Unexpected Proofs," by Florian Pfender and Günter M. Ziegler (Notices of the American Mathematical Society, September 2004, p. 873).

--- Bill CasselmanMar 28, 2006

Circle Picture 5Computers make it possible for me to "see" the beauty of mathematics. This image and all of the Circle Pictures are made by iterating systems of Mobius Transformations.

--- Anne M. BurnsMar 28, 2006

Circle Picture 10Computers make it possible for me to "see" the beauty of mathematics. This image and all of the Circle Pictures are made by iterating systems of Mobius Transformations.

--- Anne M. BurnsMar 28, 2006

Mountains in SpringComputers make it possible for me to "see" the beauty of mathematics. The artworks in the gallery of "Mathscapes" were 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.

--- Anne M. Burns Mar 28, 2006

Five Intersecting TetrahedraThis is a version of the Ow-Hull "Five Intersecting Tetrahedra." The visually stunning object should be a familiar sight to those who frequent the landscapes of M.C. Escher or like to thumb through geometry textbooks. Read about the object and how it is constructed on the Origami Gallery.

--- Thomas Hull. Photograph by Nancy Rose Marshall.Mar 28, 2006

Nested Hexogonal CollapseThis model is a series of concentric hexagons with "zig-zag" creases coming from the center-most hexagon out to the midpoints of the paper's sides. It can be collapsed in many different ways and twisted into interesting shapes, as done here. See more geometrics and tesselations on the Origami Gallery.

--- Thomas Hull. Photograph by Nancy Rose Marshall.Mar 28, 2006

Spiked Rhombic EnneacontahedronThis structure was conceived by taking a 90-sided polyhedron, whose faces are made from two types of rhombi, and placing a pyramid on each face. The construction uses 180 small squares of paper, all folded and interlocked together without glue. See more models on the Origami Gallery.

--- Thomas Hull. Photograph by Nancy Rose Marshall.Mar 28, 2006

Professor Tom HullTom Hull took his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Rhode Island in 1997. His dissertation was on list coloring bipartite graphs, now he mostly studies the mathematics of origami (paper folding).

Tom Hull is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA.Mar 13, 2006