Creativity in Mathematics

When I first read the title of the first presentation I thought “No way? How can mathematics be creative?”.  This is when I began to realise that I did not “hate” maths in the way I thought I did because it is actually an extremely powerful subject which is used in everyday life which we do not realise.

Tessellation

As learned in our previous lecture, Tessellation is the repetition of shapes that fit together without any overlaps or gaps and for the shape of tessellate it must be able to exactly surround a point or a shape. It can be made through the use of 2D shapes although there are different types of tessellation which include regular and semi regular. The video below shows examples of how tessellation can be used to create patterns and how different 2D shapes can be used to show this.

 

Islamic Art

The key concepts of Islamic Art include texture, colour, pattern and calligraphy. It is often very easy to pick out a piece of Islamic art and is outstanding for someone to look at. This kind of art does not necessarily follow a religion but includes traditions of art used by the Muslim culture. Islamic Art provides meaning in its repetition and variation and shows the relationship between maths and art. The art avoids human and animal forms and instead uses different mathematic tools such as reflective symmetry and how many lines there are (BBC,2014).

Geometric Multiplication Circles 

These are made through geometry which is the heart of Islamic Art. These circles can be formed by using times tables to create patterns such a stars which I have attached below. The procedure works for example by using the 6 times table. 6 x 2 is 12 which simples down by completing 1 + 2 which leads to the final answer being 3. Similarly by working out 6 x 6 is 36 and therefore 3 + 6 equals 9 which is the answer. This allows children in classrooms to use creativity and enjoyment in their times table work and helps them develop transferable skills to work out the final answers. These digital root patterns which we can describe them as allow children the opportunity to learn new maths techniques without realising they are doing them (Warner, N/A).

Ma’s (2010) idea of connectedness shows that tessellation and creativity in art shows how individual aspects of maths can be linked together which can allow children to understand the concept of maths in a more efficient way. Also the idea of basic ideas, allows the idea of joining different aspects in maths together to structure a simple strategy for example multiplication, and how these quirky creative styles can be remembered by children.

Examples 

5×1=5

5×2=10=1

5×3=15=6

5×4=20=2

5×5=25=7

and so on…

6×5=30= 3

6×6=36=9

6×7=42=6

6×8=48=12=3

6×9=54=9

6×10=60=6

References

Ma, L. (2010) Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics (Anniversary Ed.) New York: Routledge.

Warner, M. (n/a) Digital Root Patterns. Available at: https://www.teachingideas.co.uk/number-patterns/digital-root-patterns/  (Accessed 1 October 2018).

BBC (2014) Islamic Art. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/art/art_1.shtml (Accessed 1 October 2018).

1 thought on “Creativity in Mathematics

  1. Everytime I look at the digital root patterns made by the multiplication tables I am amazed! I think my 14 year old self would be horrified to hear me say it, but maths can be beautiful!

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