A Sweater, Paper Projects, and Math Art Tools

Sondra Eklund and her Prime Factorization Sweater

Welcome to this week’s Math Munch!

Check out Sondra Eklund and her awesome prime factorization sweater! Sondra is a librarian and a writer who writes a blog where she reviews books. She also is a knitter and a lover of math!

Each number from two to one hundred is represented in order on the front of Sondra’s sweater. Each prime number is a square that’s a different color; each composite number has a rectangle for each of the primes in its prime factorization. This number of columns that the numbers are arranged into draws attention to different patterns of color. For instance, you can see a column that has a lot of yellow in it on the front of the sweater–these are all number that contain five as a factor.

You can read more about Sondra and her sweater on her blog. Also, here’s a response and variation to Sondra’s sweater by John Graham-Cumming.

Next up, do you like making origami and other constructions out of paper? Then you’ll love the site made by Laszlo Bardos called CutOutFoldUp.

Laszlo Bardos

A Rhombic Spirallohedron

A decagon slide-together

Laszlo is a high school math teacher and has enjoyed making mathematical models since he was a kid. On CutOutFoldUp you’ll find gobs of projects to try out, including printable templates. I’ve made some slide-togethers before, but I’m really excited to try making the rhombic spirallohedron pictured above! What is your favorite model on the site?

Last up, Paul recently discovered a great mathematical art applet called Recursive Drawing. The tools are extremely simple. You can make circles and squares. You can stretch these around. But most importantly, you can insert a copy of one of your drawings into itself. And of course then that copy has a copy inside of it, and on and on. With a very simple interface and very simple tools, incredible complexity and beauty can be created.

Recursive Drawing was created by Toby Schachman, an artist and programmer who graduated from MIT and now lives in New York City and attends NYU.  You can watch a demo video below.

Recursive Drawing is one of the first applets on our new Math Art Tools page. We’ll be adding more soon. Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments!

Bon appetit!

5 responses »

  1. My teaching was transformed when I participated in the NSF teaching patterns in the middle grades! I love fractals, branching….all things math!

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