Mathematical Ideas

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The main objective of this course is to provide an understanding and appreciation of mathematical ideas relevant and useful to art students. We will examine a variety of ideas from across cultures and times, particularly those of interest to artists, craftspeople, architects, and designers. The course is based on three premises: 1) Mathematics is a fascinating subject, full of compelling ideas; 2) many of its underlying ideas share a common ground with issues central to the arts; 3) the art student, as interpreter of our modern society, will benefit greatly from understanding these ideas. The approach is more visual than numerical, with a major focus being on various geometric patterns, symmetries and proportions evident in nature, and their application to art in two and three dimensions. We will also explore topics related to the digital age and humanistic mathematics. Lectures, visual presentations, philosophical discussions and hands-on activities lead to the student creating original works which interpret the ideas encountered under each topic.