#MathArtChallenge Day 30: Labyrinths

The #MathArtChallenge is just a fun, simple way to engage our brains during this time of unease. All tasks are low tech: paper, pencil, maybe string. Nothing fancy. I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Post on social media with the hashtag #MathArtChallenge!

THE CHALLENGE: Draw a labyrinth.

These websites can explain how to draw them:

http://www.mathrecreation.com/2012/03/another-way-to-draw-simple-labyrinths.html

https://www.wikihow.com/Draw-a-Labyrinth

https://craftwhack.com/how-to-draw-labyrinth/

MATERIALS NEEDED: Patience, paper, pencil.

#MathArtChallenge Day 29: Paper Roll Polyhedra

The #MathArtChallenge is just a fun, simple way to engage our brains during this time of unease. All tasks are low tech: paper, pencil, maybe string. Nothing fancy. I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Post on social media with the hashtag #MathArtChallenge!

THE CHALLENGE: Make your very own paper roll polyhedra. All inspired by this tweet from Mr. Allan shared by Clarissa Grandi

MATERIALS NEEDED: Paper rolls. Can be toilet paper or paper towel rolls or you can make your own!

Here are some that I made:

2020-04-12 14.40.31And now is a great time to explore some polyhedra if you haven’t yet done so! Here are some websites shared by Mark Kaercher that are great.

https://polyhedra.tessera.li/

https://www.templatemaker.nl/en/

#MathArtChallenge Day 28: Paper Tube Designs

The #MathArtChallenge is just a fun, simple way to engage our brains during this time of unease. All tasks are low tech: paper, pencil, maybe string. Nothing fancy. I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Post on social media with the hashtag #MathArtChallenge!

Today, courtesy of the extraordinary Mark Kaercher:

 

Musing on the #MathArtChallenge

Hey folk. If you’re here, you’ve probably seen the #MathArtChallenge(s) that I’ve been putting on Twitter and Instagram. I just wanted to share some musing I’ve had as this has progressed, and I would love to hear any that you have as well.

The most prominent is easily that this is bringing me so much joy. Like most of you, I expect, I have moments in my day when I am overcome with dread and grief at what the world is facing in this pandemic, and I’m trying to condition myself to not wallow in that too long (if I can avoid it). One of the best ways I’ve found is to just search through the hashtag #mathartchallenge and I find so much joy that I am temporarily relieved of my existential dread.

For that reason, I’m not too bummed if there are days when only 1 or 2 people post their thinking/creations. Many of you have said that just seeing the math art challenges is a bright point in your day (and perhaps more importantly to me, many of my students have said that). My favorite challenge from the past week was almost definitely the Brunnian links and very few of you seem to have taken that up, but who cares as long as the ideas get spread and maybe someone can engage, even if thats days, weeks, months or years later. One of my actual students engaged in that one and just sent me a private video of her solution and I gotta say, I nearly burst into tears I was so happy.

Another joyful thing about it is the friendships I’m building with enthusiastic participants. Due to Katherine Seaton’s excellent challenge I’ve been introduced to her and even if it’s just a message here or there, it’s one more person I’m connected to. There are probably a dozen more people out there now who I hadn’t been as connected to as I am now, and much as I feel confident that many of you feel existential dread right now, I trust that just as many of you also crave human connection.

Back to the challenges themselves, I’m just delighted in the variety that has come up through your brilliant suggestions, and even more so that when I post one I happen to think is too simple or not interesting enough, figuring “I’m going to be doing this for a while, so I can’t be too picky”, that you all make it absolutely wonderful. Truly. I am floored that I can throw just any old thing out there, and your brilliant creativity and artistry makes it shine.

As for the ideas themselves, I’ve been operating under a few parameters as to what I will actually share:

  • If I’m using something that is decidedly a specific person’s creation, I’ve tried to ask first and if they say yes, to of course, credit them. I don’t know a single human who can lay claim to the connection between golden spirals and icosahedrons, so I didn’t worry too much about crediting that. But I do know that I was first introduced to the overlapping circles because of my brother and he through numberphile so I tried to link and thereby credit that creation. There have been a couple of requests that I haven’t yet used because I’m trying to get permission from their creators.
  • I have a list through about day 50 right now (we’re on day 28 now, as soon as I get my cat off my lap and go make it), and I have a lot of other ideas that I’ve hesitated to put out there because I want them to be accessible to as many people as possible. I guess I’d love some feedback on that. I would love to use hyperbolic crochet (crediting Daina Taimina, naturally), but I know not many people are going to have crochet needles and yarn, nor the enthusiasm to learn a whole new skill in a day. But maybe it’s worth putting out there for the few who would and for those who don’t to just play with the idea? Or Penrose tiles – I’d love to show those off and spread the idea, but it’ll be harder for everyone to play. What do you all think? 
  • I’m mostly trying to spread ideas that you all can take and share in your classes. I certainly won’t lay claim to anything except my own creations – I don’t own these ideas and you shouldn’t feel it necessary to credit me when you share them unless you’re sharing a specific image of one of my creations.

I dunno. These are just some of my musings right now. I’ll probably write again later, but for any who are following along, I guess I’d be curious as to what you’re thinking. And of course, feel free to add suggestions to the list.

#MathArtChallenge Day 27: Golden Icosahedron

The #MathArtChallenge is just a fun, simple way to engage our brains during this time of unease. All tasks are low tech: paper, pencil, maybe string. Nothing fancy. I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Post on social media with the hashtag #MathArtChallenge!

THE CHALLENGE: Create your very own Golden Rectangle Icosahedron!

(Yes, I absolutely meant “rectangle”, but twitter doesn’t give you an edit button.)

MATERIALS NEEDED: Cardboard, markers, scissors/box cutter, string/ribbon/thread

 

 

#MathArtChallenge Day 26: Golden Spiral

The #MathArtChallenge is just a fun, simple way to engage our brains during this time of unease. All tasks are low tech: paper, pencil, maybe string. Nothing fancy. I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Post on social media with the hashtag #MathArtChallenge!

THE CHALLENGE: Draw a golden spiral,

MATERIALS: Grid paper? Writing utensils.

Use grid paper. (Or not? Might be a neat wonky one if you don’t?)

Start with a 1×1 square and another next to it.

Using a 2 unit long side, create a 2×2 square.

Then a 3×3, etc.

When it’s as large as you like, draw connected quarter circles to form your spiral!

 

#MathArtChallenge Day 25: Tessellations

The #MathArtChallenge is just a fun, simple way to engage our brains during this time of unease. All tasks are low tech: paper, pencil, maybe string. Nothing fancy. I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Post on social media with the hashtag #MathArtChallenge!

THE CHALLENGE: Great your very own tessellation from a small piece of cardboard.

  1. Start with a square (Cereal or pop box cardboard works great) Mine was 2”x2”
  2. Cut a piece from one side and tape it to an adjacent side.
  3. Repeat for remaining 2 edges.
  4. Trace!

MATERIALS NEEDED: Pencil, paper, and cardboard from a cereal box or a pop box or something similarly thin but stiff enough to trace.

#MathArtChallenge Day 24: Polygon Midpoints

The #MathArtChallenge is just a fun, simple way to engage our brains during this time of unease. All tasks are low tech: paper, pencil, maybe string. Nothing fancy. I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Post on social media with the hashtag #MathArtChallenge!

THE CHALLENGE:

  1. Draw a polygon.
  2. Mark the midpoint of each side.
  3. Connect the midpoints of each side to make a new polygon.
  4. Repeat.

Don’t sleep on the quadrilaterals here. They do something rather surprising and beautiful!

MATERIALS NEEDED: Whatever you prefer!

2020-04-08 08.13.50

#MathArtChallenge Day 23: Brunnian Links

The #MathArtChallenge is just a fun, simple way to engage our brains during this time of unease. All tasks are low tech: paper, pencil, maybe string. Nothing fancy. I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Post on social media with the hashtag #MathArtChallenge!

THE CHALLENGE: Build a set of 3, 4 or maybe even 5 Brunnian links.

MATERIALS NEEDED: Your call. Joey already did the 3 link one with straws. I used crocheted yarn. Shoelaces?

And then because I realize it’s not nice to not pull apart the 4 for you:

DAY23 MAC STILLS

#MathArtChallenge Day 22: Extending Day 14…

The #MathArtChallenge is just a fun, simple way to engage our brains during this time of unease. All tasks are low tech: paper, pencil, maybe string. Nothing fancy. I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Post on social media with the hashtag #MathArtChallenge!

THE CHALLENGE: Dave Richeson came up with a brilliant extension for Day 14

MATERIALS NEEDED: paper (grid?) and pencil!

2020-04-05 20.39.04