Math Meets Art, Quarto, and Snow!

Welcome to this week’s Math Munch!

article-0-19F9E81700000578-263_634x286… And, if you happen to write the date in the European way (day/month/year), happy Noughts and Crosses Day! (That’s British English for Tic-Tac-Toe Day.) In Europe, today’s date is 11/12/13– and it’s the last time that the date will be three consecutive numbers in this century! We in America are lucky. Our last Noughts and Crosses Day was November 12, 2013 (11/12/13), and we get another one next year on December 13 (12/13/14). To learn more about Noughts and Crosses Day and find out about an interesting contest, check out this site. And, to our European readers, happy Noughts and Crosses Day!

p3p13Speaking of Noughts and Crosses (or Tic-Tac-Toe), I have a new favorite game– Quarto! It’s a mix of Tic-Tac-Toe and another favorite game of mine, SET, and it was introduced to me by a friend of mine. It’s quite tricky– you’ll need the full power of your brain to tackle it. Luckily, there are levels, since it can take a while to develop a strategy. Give it a try, and let us know if you like it!


Looking to learn about some new mathematical artists? Check out this article, “When Math Meets Art,” from the online magazine Dark Rye. It profiles seven mathematical artists– some of whom we’ve written about (such as Erik and Martin Demaine, of origami fame, and Henry Segerman), and some of whom I’ve never heard of. The work of string art shown above is by artist Adam Brucker, who specializes in making “unexpected” curves from straight line segments.

gauss17_smallAnother of my favorites from this article is the work of Robert Bosch. One of his specialities is making mosaics of faces out of tiles, such as dominoes. The article features his portrait of the mathematician Father Sebastien Truchet made out of the tiles he invented, the Truchet tiles. Clever, right? The mosaic to the left is of the great mathematician Gauss, made out of dominoes. Check out Robert’s website to see more of his awesome art.

Finally, it snowed in New York City yesterday. I love when it snows for the first time in winter… and that got me wanting to make some paper snowflakes to celebrate! Here’s a video by Vi Hart that will teach you to make some of the most beautiful paper snowflakes.

Hang them on your windows, on the walls, or from the ceiling, and have a very happy wintery day! Bon appetit!

24 responses »

  1. Did you come up with these your self or do you watch videos on how to make them. I learned a lot in this video. i always make my snowflakes with four folds and they never looked that good. But now i’ m going to do it the way you do it!!!

  2. Even though snowflakes are actually a tiny dot of snow, making these snowflakes are really pretty against my window for this Christmas. It was really enjoyable watching you make snowflakes out of paper.

  3. It seems that a lot of mathematical concepts are implemented into art. Do artists study these to help improve their work?

    • Yeah, I know what you mean. I had to watch the video a couple of times with scissors and paper in hand to figure it out. Try doing what she does and pausing the video as you go? Good luck!

  4. I suggest they make this video a bit slower so the watcher can watch and (if desired) replicate the snowflakes made in this video.

  5. Pingback: Math Teachers at Play #70 | Let's Play Math!

    • A 3-D snowflake!!! That sounds awesome. I bet you could use individual snowflakes as the sides of polyhedra… The cutouts would look even better if you put a light inside…

  6. why does it absolutely have to be six folds or a multiple of six? whats the difference between the snowflake when you 4 fold or 6 fold if you do the exact same pattern.

  7. The snow flakes that vi hart made were really complex and unique but it was really hard to keep up with her and what she was saying. In the end I learned how to make a (near) perfect star!

  8. when i tried to make a snowflake it didn’t look like any snow flakes vi hart made in her video how can I make my snowflake look better?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s