Course:SLU MATH 124: Math and Escher - Fall 2010 - Dr. Anneke Bart

From EscherMath
Jump to navigationJump to search

Course Information


  • Class Meets: 12:00 - 12:50 MWF in RH 316
  • Instructor:
  • Prerequisite: 3 years of high school mathematics or Math 120 (College Algebra).


  • Attendance is required. You will have in-class work to be done in groups. One unexcused absence is allowed. Six absences will cause you to lose two letter grades. I only excuse absences when presented with official documentation. Being late twice or leaving early counts as an absence.
  • Homework will be due weekly. Your work should be neat, legible, and stapled. Cooperation is good, but write up results separately. Late homework is always accepted, but I will not write comments and will automatically give a score of 5 (out of 10) if the work is of reasonable quality.
  • Exams. I give makeup exams only for severe and documented reasons.
    • Exam 1: TBA
    • Exam 2: TBA
    • Final: Place: RH 316
  • Grading is on a straight scale, with 90%,80%,70%,60% guaranteeing A,B,C,D. Grading is weighted as follows:
    • Exams: two @15% each
    • Homework and in-class work: 20%
    • Tessellation Project: 10%
    • Cathedral Poster Assignment: 10%
    • Final: 30% (the final is comprehensive)


The main text for this course is the Math and the Art of MC Escher online book, at

One traditional textbook is required for the course:

  • D. Schattschneider, Visions of Symmetry. H. Abrams 2004. (The paperback 1990 edition is also acceptable).


Students are expected to be honest in their academic work, as per the Honesty Policy of the College of Arts & Sciences. Plagiarism, cheating and dishonesty will be reported to the dean and may result in probation, expulsion, or worse.

Homework and Assignments

  1. First week: Jan. 11-15:
    Read Visions of Symmetry pg. 1-15.
    Read M.C. Escher, Fundamental Concepts and Introduction_to_Symmetry.
  2. Due Wednesday, Jan 20:
    Homework #1
  3. Second week: Jan. 18-22:
    Read Visions of Symmetry pg. 15-31.
    Read Frieze Patterns and Wallpaper Patterns.
  4. Due Wednesday, Jan 22:
    Homework #2: Border Patterns
  5. Due Wednesday, Feb 3:
    Homework #3: Wallpaper Groups
  6. Wednesday, Feb 10: Cathedral Basilica Fieldtrip
  7. Due Friday Feb 12:
    Regular Tessellation Write-up
  8. Due Friday Feb 19:
    Polynominoes Write-up
  9. Due Friday Feb 26:
    Tessellations by Triangles and Quadrilaterals Write-up : Explain in detail why quadrilaterals and triangles tessellate the plane.
  10. Friday March 19: Exam I
    Exam I Study Guide - Spring 2010



Plan: We will begin with the studying symmetry: Rotational and reflectional symmetry; Symmetry groups follow: rozette groups, border patters and wallpaper patterns; At this point there will be a field trip to the Cathedral Basilica and a symmetry group project will be assigned; If time permits we will start on the theory of tessellations.

  • Week 2: Jan 18-22
    • Wednesday: Intro to frieze patterns (powerpoint) and Frieze Group Exploration
    • Friday: Short lecture about frieze patterns we can make with simple letters from the alphabet. Examples used were R and A (A written so that it has reflectional symmetry). Worked in class on Identifying Frieze Patterns Exploration and start on Homework 2
  • Week 3: Jan 25-29
    • Monday: Intro to Wallpaper Patterns. Discussed the flowchart used to determine the wallpaper groups. Looked at Escher prints in Visions of Symmetry. The assignment was to identify the symmetry group for every 5th print (so print5, 10, 15, 20, etc.)
    • Tessellations, a first look Exploration
    • Start on Homework.

Some dates to keep in mind:

  • Mon January 11 Classes Begin
  • Mon January 18 Martin Luther King Day: Official University Holiday
  • Fri January 22 Last day to drop without a "W"


Geometric Tessellations and tessellations by recognizable figures will be covered. The Tessellation Art Project will be assigned.

  • Week 4: Feb 1-5
    • Discussion of Tessellations
    • Tessellation Exploration: The Basics
    • Angles of Polygons and Regular Tessellations Exploration


Non-Euclidean Geometry: We will start with Spherical geometry, followed by Hyperbolic Geometry.

Some dates to keep in mind:

  • Mon-Sat March 1-6 Midterm Exams (There will not necessarily be an exam in Math 124 during this week)
  • Sat-Sun March 13-21 SPRING BREAK
  • Fri March 19 Last day to withdraw from classes


Non-Euclidean Geometry: We will start with Spherical geometry, followed by Hyperbolic Geometry. (continued)

We will finish the course with one of the special topics: Fractals or Depth and Perspective.

  • Thurs April 1 Holy Thursday: No Undergraduate classes
  • Fri April 2 Good Friday: Official University Holiday
  • Mon April 5 Easter Monday: No Undergraduate Day classes.


  • Mon May 3 Classes End