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Athabasca University

Personal Perspectives

Mathematics in Art

M.C. Escher's "Print Gallery": Why is there a blurry white blob in the centre of this lithograph which appears to have been etched from a strangely distorted perspective?

Dr. Hendrik Lenstra, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, explained the artistic puzzle mathematically. He discovered that Escher's distortion used principles of conformal maps. He further developed a formula utilizing the theory of elliptic curves, which, when embedded into a computer program, was able to generate a very close approximation of Escher's original artwork.

The Midas Touch in Design

A thing of golden beauty in the minds of the Ancient Greeks was not circumscribed by architecture, statue or vase.

Updated August 25 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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