From Folding and Cutting to Geometry and Algorithms: Integrating Islamic Art into the Mathematics Curriculum

Carol Bier
Bridges Donostia: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2007)
Pages 453–458


Drawing upon visual forms of expression prevalent in Islamic arts and architecture, this workshop offers hand-son experience for understanding basic concepts in geometry, with reference to algorithms in processes of pattern-making. Art teachers and math educators may learn a variety of strategies for classroom teaching, adaptable for K-12, to acquaint students with principles underlying patterns in Islamic art. Such patterns relate to the history of mathematics at a time when Baghdad was an intellectually vibrant center of patronage, and al-Khwarezmi was engaged in the development of what we now call algebra and algorithms. Students may explore these ideas through their own experimentation, and relate their experiences to means of transmission of newly emergent mathematical ideas in the 9th and 10th centuries of our era.