The Last 10 #MathArtChallenge

Only 10 left until we reach the goal of 100 Math Art Challenges.

A thing I’ve noticed is that since I took a pause after George Floyd was murdered (there were just more important places for my and everyone else’s attention) is there’s a notable slow down of engagement. Which is totally fine, of course. Part of my capturing and recording all of them here on this blog is so they’ll be around and available whenever you want to play or when schools start up again in the fall. But I would like to encourage folk to engage again and to capture a bit of the magic that I felt when folk were spinning them into something new nearly every day. So the last 10 will come out over the next 10 days. The finale will be August 5th.

Another part of the slow rate they’ve been coming out recently has been that I’m trying to be a bit more thoughtful about them, which has led to a big of paralyzation on my part. I spend a lot of time thinking, “Is this even worth people’s time? Is it meaningful enough? Is it connected to enough things?” And while those musings are important to me, there comes a time when I’ve mused enough and need to just create and publish. So for the last 10, I wanted to expound a bit on what I’m prioritizing and what I’ve been musing about as I’ve planned these last 10.

I can’t stop thinking about how much of math is trapped by the expectation that math needs to be calculation centered – involving symbols and paper scratching. Of course there is freedom that comes with exploring the meaning behind those symbols and scratching, but there are so many other ways to experience and expand math. I think a lot about the de-colonization and re-humanizing of mathematics and how worship of the written word is wrapped up in preventing us from expanding our perception of what mathematics is.

Mathematics is beautiful. That’s important to me.

Mathematics is powerful. It can persuade for good and evil purposes.

I want to help us explore mathematics in ways that celebrate the historical importance of mathematics in a variety of cultures, and in ways that expand your idea of what math is and can be.

Finally, mathematics can be used to exclude when it’s too mystified. Part of me thinks that by keeping the planned #MathArtChallenge-s to myself, I’ve been a bit exclusionary. So I’m posting at least the titles of all remaining 10 below. Feel free to engage early if that’s exciting to you. I have put a lot of work into this, but it’s not my endeavor alone. It wouldn’t be anything if y’all hadn’t engaged.

So the last 10 will be:

91. Monday, July 27th: 3D Cube letter shadows suggested by Sam Shah

92. Tuesday, July 28th: W.E.B DuBois’ Data portraits

93. Wednesday, July 29th: Polyhedra creation based on vertex descriptions

94. Thursday, July 30th Friday, July 31st: A final Islamic Art design

95. Friday, July 31st Saturday, August 1st: Magic Squares & Circles

96. Saturday, August 1st Sunday, August 2nd: Rational Tangles & Candice Price

97. Sunday, August 2nd Monday, August 3rd: Creative origami sculpture

98. Monday, August 3rdTuesday, August 4th: The most beautiful proof I’ve ever seen

99. Tuesday, August 4thWednesday, August 5th: Hidden in Plain View quilting patterns, oral history, and the Underground Railroad

100. Wednesday, August 5thThursday, August 6th: Celebration (So this one’s still a bit of a secret – indulge me, but if you want to play along you probably want to get a hold of some twisting balloons, which is maybe enough for you to guess what I’m planning.)

Author: Ms. P

Math Teacher in Minneapolis, MN.

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