Sand Drawings and Gaussian Graphs

Erik D. Demaine, Martin L. Demaine, Perouz Taslakian and Godfried T. Toussaint
Bridges London: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2006)
Pages 79–88


Sand drawings form a part of many cultural artistic traditions. Depending on the part of the world in which they occur, such drawings have different names such as sona, kolam, and Malekula drawings. Gaussian graphs are mathematical objects studied in the disciplines of graph theory and topology. We uncover a bridge between sand drawings and Gaussian graphs, leading to a variety of new mathematical problems related to sand drawings. In particular, we analyze sand drawings from combinatorial, graphtheoretical, and geometric points of view. Many new mathematical open problems are illuminated and listed.