Making Patterns: Pushing the Envelope
The AMS hosts hands-on activities at the biennial USA Science & Engineering Festival. In 2018 Susan Wildstrom and some of her students from Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD, led the line-drawing activity and in 2016 she and her team, with help from AMS staff, led the curve-stitching activity. Whether or not you attended the festival, here you can learn more about how to make line drawings and stitch curve patterns, and see the math behind the patterns.
Patterns: Parabolas & Polygons — Line Drawing
Make beautiful geometric patterns from simple lines. The designs can be basic or complex, depending on the template you choose.
The designs can be basic or complex, depending on the template you choose. See the mathematics behind line drawing, including animations, in "Hearts and Roses," by David A. Meyer.
Pushing the Envelope - Curve Stitching
Curve stitching is similar to string art in that the way yarn or thread is pulled through hole patterns forms wonderful geometric patterns. The designs can be simple or complex, depending on the placement of the holes and the sequence of where the yarn is pulled.
Curve stitching was invented by Mary Everest Boole in the mid 1800s.
Read more about the math behind the curve, by Susan Wildstrom.
More Curve Stitching How-to resources and patterns
- Line Designs for the Computer, by Jill Britton
- How to Create Parabolic Curves Using Straight Lines, by Math Craft
- Intro to Curve Stiching, a video by Julia Kay
More on the mathematics behind curve stitch patterns
- Mathematics and Curve Stitching, by Institute of Education Services
- Curve-stitch designs, by Lionel Deimel
- Curve stitch primitive calculation, by Stack Exchange
- "From Curve Stitching to Epicycloids," by Alice I. Robold and Peter Yff [requires subscription]
(There are articles in academic journals that require subscription to access.]
Math on the street
A few weeks after the 2014 festival, AMS staffer Samantha Faria noticed this on her way to work.