Image with Commentary

December 2014

Tessellation links art with science, graphic design with mathematics. The word may be unfamiliar, yet we see manifestations of it all around us. We find examples in ancient mosaics, medieval stained glass, woven textiles, quilts, modern maps, computer animation and prints by M. C. Escher. Tessellations form natural patterns found in the honeycomb of bees and the crystals of chemical elements and compounds.

Tessellation of a flat surface juxtapositions one or more geometric shapes, called tiles, with no overlaps and no gaps. The tiles may be regular or irregular, repeating or non-repeating. Mathematicians have taken our understanding of tessellation beyond planes and solids into non Euclidean space. Most viewers will recognize the image as a surgeon, particularly as they distance themselves from the display. The image uses the simplest of polygon tessellations, the triangle. (2014)

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