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Geometry Students Explore Intersections of Math and Islamic Art

Over the past few weeks, students in Michelle Gee’s Geometry classes delved into the geometric structures found in Islamic art, examining the interconnection of math, art, science, and religion. “Artists have used geometry to create beautiful designs and patterns for a millennium, and examples of these extraordinary pieces can be seen in mosques, texts, pottery, and on textiles,” Gee shares. Students explored two aspects of Islamic art: geometric pattern tessellations (repeating patterns) and meditation and reflection. Gee partnered with art teachers Melissa Manfull and Biliana Popova, who helped the 9th graders create and tesselate their own pattern on paper and carve a stamp to tessellate on clay.

“Islamic artists regularly met with mathematicians and scientists to discuss and share new developments in mathematical concepts and scientific technology,” Gee writes, which inspired her to collaborate with Vanessa Walker-Oakes' AP Art History class. Geometry students prepared a short video presentation about geometry in Islamic art that they presented to AP Art History students.