Create a Mathematical Banner Using the Lute, the Sacred Cut, and the Spidron

Elaine Krajenke Ellison
Bridges Leeuwarden: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2008)
Pages 467–468


This activity-based workshop will enhance the mathematics teachers’ collection of fascinating constructions. Each construction is useful for a variety of student levels. The Lute of Pythagoras, named for Pythagoras of Samos (ca. 580-500 B.C.), demonstrates the interesting relationship between the pentagon and the Golden Triangle. The Sacred Cut, a construction dating to the sixth century B.C., was found in excavated brick remains in the ancient Roman port of Ostia. The Spidron, a spiraling polygon, is a figure popularized by Daniel Erdely in the early 1970’s. Each construction will be shown and then will be used as a design element to create a mathematical banner. All materials will be provided by the teacher.