Making Math Visible

George Hart and Elisabeth Heathfield
Proceedings of Bridges 2017: Mathematics, Art, Music, Architecture, Education, Culture
Pages 63–70 Regular Papers


We believe there is a cultural need to normalize mathematics and have spent three years developing art/math activities and documenting them with detailed lesson plans. By testing these activities in scores of classrooms ranging from first grade through university, we have been able to refine them and provide instructions on how to adapt them to different levels. The result is a free online resource,, that teachers can access to enrich their practice and anyone can use for fun inspiration. We propose that displaying beautiful physical 3D manifestations of mathematics will incite people to look beyond arithmetic and rote learning and help them see the delights that other math topics have to offer. The positive feedback we have received from students and teachers supports our view that making math visible is a useful strategy for improving education and creating a wider culture of mathematics.