Math Seminars

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its first Mathematics Seminar of the 2017-2018 academic year on Thursday, September 21, 3:00-4:00 PM in 101 Cook.  Our speaker will be PhD student Javier Ronquillo.  His topic is the mathematics of mosaics.  The title and abstract may be found below. 

Sufficient background for this talk requires nothing more than an appreciation of beauty and a willingness to see how mathematics may be used in its creation.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 PM. 


An investigation of angles, polygons and mosaics

Have you noticed that the New Year’s Eve ball that comes down every year in Times Square is not perfectly round? It is really made out of a bunch of smaller triangles! Could we make a ball like this using just stop signs? Have you noticed that soccer balls are hybrids of pentagons and hexagons? Could we do a hybrid ball with stop signs and triangles?

All these questions have to do with arranging regular polygons (these arrangements need not form a ball; for example, the polygons could also be sitting on a wall). We will call one of these kinds of arrangements a mosaic. Throughout history mosaics have been some of the most beautiful pieces of art, and mathematics is used to help create their harmony and beauty.

In this talk we will explore the questions listed above and many more. This material is accessible to everyone and provides a great opportunity to see math and art interact.