UB Professors' Art Featured in Global Interdisciplinary Conference
August 29, 2018
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
Three University of Baltimore faculty members had their artwork published in the mathematical exhibition at the 2018 Bridges Conference—the largest interdisciplinary conference in the world on mathematical connections in art, music, architecture, education and culture—held last July in the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Professors Sujan Shrestha, Mona Hajghassem and Haitham Alkhateeb, all from the Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies in UB's Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, collaborated on an exploration of the structure of tiling, symmetry and linear algebra. Part of a series, the works explore Persian designs and artful patterns. The curvature of symmetry and the underlying mathematical reasoning, the trio said, may enhance the experience of mathematics education, aesthetics and the understanding of a culture.
Persian designs and patterns in Islamic art may have been inspired by nature, religion, history and mythology. These patterns have become one of the most celebrated ways of finding the commonalities in geometry and culture. They also have been instrumental in understanding key mathematical concepts.
The influence and stories of these designs and patterns can be found across Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa. They are often used in decorative forms in carpets, buildings, fabrics, and furniture. The process of mapping and designing techniques of patterns in Islamic art has been a common phenomenon that has interested both scholars and artists for centuries.
"Mathematicians. artists and scientists have long examined the design of tiling and symmetry in various cultures," the professors said in their gallery description. "Our study explored the geometric structure of designs in forming larger symmetric patterns. We used the decomposition process of star polygons in light of linear algebra that is commonly found in Persian designs and patterns in Islamic art. The two art examples were a 10-point star polygon (10,3) and a dodecagon, a 12-point star polygon (12,4), that are divided into multiple blocks or tiles that are arranged in a two-by two symmetric matrix and are geometrically paired."
At the University of Baltimore, Professors Shrestha, Hajghassem and Alkhateeb are interested in developing successful teaching and learning strategies that promote active learning experiences and creative thinking in mathematical geometry. The integration of the findings of this work into the mathematics classroom may engage students of different learning styles in an experience that supports deep knowledge.
Learn more about the trio's art.
Learn more about the 2018 Bridges Conference.
Learn more about UB's Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies.