Group Symmetries Connect Art and History with Mathematics
May 2000, Volume 93, Issue 5, Page 364
Throughout history, different cultures have produced designs to be used as ornamentation, as part of ceremonies, and as religious symbols. Many of these designs are mathematical in nature, and their bases are often the transformations of reflection and rotation in the plane. The images form groupings that appear to have an underlying unity. Thus, history and art merge to create a medium through which students can study the concrete operations of reflection and rotation in the plane, as well as the more abstract concept of symmetry groups. The resulting patterns give students a sense of the potential for creativity inherent in mathematics.