The 10th Anniversary Collection Journal of Mathematics and the Arts

Journal of Mathematics and the Arts

Welcome to this generous selection of editors’ choices of articles appearing in the first ten volumes of Journal of Mathematics and the Arts. The journal took shape following a meeting arranged by the late Reza Sarhangi at the 2005 Bridges Banff Conference, where Kate Watt from Taylor & Francis met with a group of interested conference participants. Following a group proposal led by Gary Greenfield, the journal launched in 2007 with Gary as editor for the first five volumes. Craig S Kaplan then took over as editor in 2012, until he handed the reins to current editor Mara Alagic at the beginning of 2017.

This collection of 14 articles represents a range of topics that reinforce the journal’s principal aims and scope: the use of mathematics in the creation of works of art; the understanding of art arising from mathematical endeavours; the mathematical implications of artistic works; and interdisciplinary mathematics and arts education. Many of the articles cover more than one topic, so it is challenging to organize and categorize them strictly along those lines. While there is much that could be written about why these selections are some of the editors’ favourites, in order not to impede the reader we will limit ourselves to some brief comments while clustering articles based on some intrinsic similarities.

The Journal of Mathematics and the Arts celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017! To mark this special occasion, Taylor & Francis would like to offer FREE access to a selection of articles chosen by the Editor.

Two articles feature practicing artists talking directly about the use of mathematics in their art.  First, algorithmic artist and computer graphics pioneer Hans Dehlinger discusses his line drawings. Second, in collaboration with mathematician Doris Schattschneider, Larry Frazier presents his Moebius band sculpture in wood and alabaster. On the flipside, several mathematicians and scientists offer techniques for generating attractive imagery and sculptures. The editors have selected contributions by Frank Farris showcasing his Fourier analysis methodology, by Geoffrey Irving and Henry Segerman on fractal curve sculptures, and by David Chappell on his mesmerizing sinuous meanders.

Some of the most intriguing and exciting articles that have appeared have their roots in art history. This genre includes J.B. Stroud’s paper on Crockett Johnson, as well as Neil Dodgson’s analysis of a series of works by Bridget Riley, which appeared in our special issue on aesthetic evaluation co-edited by Gary Greenfield and Penousal Machado. We also included Amy Gooch and Jack Tumblin’s startling use of X-ray analysis in the field of art conservation to discover pentimenti in old master paintings, work by Ed Aboufadel and his students on trying to understand the methods of Chuck Close by means of digital reverse engineering, and Peter Cromwell’s thoughtful analysis on the use of modular systems in Islamic patterns.

The journal aims to encompass a broad range of topics in both mathematics and art, and our selections aim to reflect that breadth. We included work by Ellie Baker and Susan Goldstine on wallpaper patterns in beaded bracelets, and an article by Robert J. Lang on the Pajarita puzzle cube, which is notable in that the main result is deliberately left as a puzzle. From the special issue on poetry guest edited by Sarah Glaz, we selected a fascinating account by Arielle Saiber of Niccolo Tartaglia’s solution to the cubic equation, a surprising historical collision between mathematics and poetry. Last but not least, from the special issue devoted to education that was guest edited by Mara Alagic, we included the article by Jenny Gage on the use of floor tiling in the mathematics classroom.