Exploring the Relationship between Math and Art

In our second week of March “Math”ness at the school, musical mathematician and scientist in residence in liberal arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Dr. Eugenia Cheng returned to Parker for a Morning Ex, taking a close look at the relationship between math and art in general and in some of her recent work specifically.

Dr. Cheng led students in reviewing a number of examples of mathematics reflected in the patterns and geometry in art from across the world, including painting, pottery, textiles and more. She described the concept of symmetry and pointed out how artists like da Vinci and Escher used mathematics to guide and inform their creative endeavors.

In describing her personal journey exploring the intersection between math and art, Dr. Cheng shared the story and the thinking behind a seven-panel art installation she created as part of her role as Scientist in Residence at Hotel EMC2 last year—a series that pays tribute to obscure 20th century mathematician Amalie “Emmy” Noether and the concept of symmetry.

All are encouraged to share in this month-long celebration of math to spark and support a love of math and math as a way of thinking for students throughout the school. Click here to explore more about math and art.
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Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.