Prof. Duane Bailey and Debora Coombs win 2021 Mathematical Art Exhibition Award

The 2021 Mathematical Art Exhibition Awards were made at the Joint Mathematics Meetings “for aesthetically pleasing works that combine mathematics and art.” The chosen works were selected from the exhibition of juried works in various media by over 135 mathematicians and artists from around the world.

“Laura’s Flowerpot,” by Debora Coombs and Duane Bailey, was awarded Best textile, sculpture, or other medium. “This sculpture is a patch of Penrose tiling raised into the third dimension. It is built from a single shape, a golden rhombus orientated according to its equivalent self in two-dimensions. If the tiling were to begin growing with the small pink and green cluster of tiles (lower center) the orientation of all dark tiles could be predicted to infinity. The orientation of the lighter colored tiles cannot. This is based upon the work of Laura Effinger-Dean who, in 2006, developed algorithmic methods for determining which tiles may be predicted to infinity. Viewed obliquely, the tiling appears disordered. Stereopsis makes it hard to see the classic Penrose. But shifting viewpoints reveal new sightlines and rhythmic sequences of tiles.” This is made from 137 x 137 x 10 cm folded pearlescent cardstock, 2018.

Please enjoy the virtual presentation at 
Pressing the “link” button below the sculpture takes you to a video we filmed a couple of weeks ago.


The Mathematical Art Exhibition Award ‘for aesthetically pleasing works that combine mathematics and art’ was established in 2008 through an endowment provided to the American Mathematical Society by an anonymous donor who wishes to acknowledge those whose works demonstrate the beauty and elegance of mathematics expressed in a visual art form.