2020 Minisymposium “Mathematics and Arts” at the annual meeting of the German Mathematical Society (online)

The minisymposium “Mathematics and Arts” will be part of the annual meeting of the German Mathematical Society, online, 14.-17. September 2020. It aims to bring together researchers interested in the connection and collaboration of mathematics and arts. This page includes the program as well as the call for papers.

Several talks from the minisymposium are available in a YouTube playlist. And a short description of these videos can be found in this Twitter thread. A compilation of articles originating from the minisymposium was published, find it here.


Monday, September 14th, 15:30 - 17:30 (GMT+2)
"Mathematical Learning from Artistic Procedures"

15:30 - 16:00
M. Damrau (Bielefeld University, Germany), M. Skrodzki (RIKEN iTHEMS, Japan)
16:00 - 16:30
J. Holden (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, USA)
"Markov Chains and Egyptian Tombs: Generating 'Egyptian' Tablet Weaving Designs Using Mean-Reverting Processes"
16:30 - 17:00
M. Hirt (Julius-Maximilian-Universität Würzburg, Germany)
"Stochastic Music – an Interdisciplinary Lesson Plan between Mathematics and Music"
17:00 - 17:30
D. Celińska-Kopczyńska (University of Warsaw, Poland) , E. Kopczyński (University of Warsaw, Poland)
"Playing with Impossibility"

Tuesday, September 15th, 15:30 - 17:30 (GMT+2)
"The Artistic Object as Learning Inspiration"

15:30 - 16:00
A. Hartkopf (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany), R.M. Broeders (BeVoice Berlin, Germany)
"A Mathematical Musical: 'Dimension Neukölln'"
16:00 - 16:30
S. Paul (North Carolina State University, USA)
"Breaking Multivariable Calculus"
16:30 - 17:00
D. Honda (Marshall Middle School San Diego, USA)
"Big Boy Blue – Using Snapology to Explore Mathematics"
17:00 - 17:30
D.N. Goos (Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina)
"Teaching Gödel and the Limits of Mathematical Knowledge with Arts"

Wednesday, September 16th, 10:30 - 12:00 (GMT+2)
"Imaging Statistics and Statistics of Images"

10:30 - 11:00
K. Hahn (Leipzig University, Germany)
"Photo Collages as Visual Summaries of Photo Books"
11:00 - 11:30
L. Feijs (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)
"Analyzing the Structure of Mondrian’s 1920–1940 Compositions"
11:30 - 12:00

Thursday, September 17th, 15:30 - 17:30 (GMT+2)
"Symmetry and Geometry"

15:30 - 16:00
R. Brugger (Technische Sammlungen Dresden, Germany)
"Five-day Workshop on Ornaments"
16:00 - 16:30
K. Heuer (Technische Universität Berlin, Germany), D. Sarikaya (Universität Hamburg, Germany)
"Tilings as an Open Problem Field for Mathematically Gifted Children."
16:30 - 17:00
A. Nasar (The Fashion Institute of Technology, USA)
"Hands-on Activities for Exploring Rosette Symmetry Groups"
17:00 - 17:30
Discussion and Closing

Call for papers

The minisymposium “Mathematics and Arts” will be part of the annual meeting of the German Mathematical Society in Chemnitz, Germany online, 14.-17. September 2020. It aims to bring together researchers interested in the connection and collaboration of mathematics and arts.

Update: Due to the situation concerning the spread of Covid-19 and current travel restrictions, the presentations will be given via Zoom (or similar).

We are looking for presentations of artistic works and concepts that include a mathematical component and put a focus on the imparting of this underlying mathematics. The utilized format or media can be very diverse. For example, the discussed work could be a short movie on soap films, a construction manual for Archimedean solids, or a lesson plan for teaching mathematics in the art of M.C. Escher.

As the mathematics component cannot be self-explanatory to the lay-person, the minisymposium aims to present works that make it explicit. For instance, geometric patterns and constructions can be an invitation to explore deeper mathematics, but the actual imparting has to be performed via textual, audio, or video explanations. Furthermore, we are looking for contributions that provide an educational opportunity for the observer. It should not only be learned that an artwork includes mathematics in general, but what specific mathematical elements it represents or captures. In this sense, an exemplary learning outcome would be not only that Escher’s works include mathematics, but that they include elements of the wallpaper group as well as an understanding of what this means.

We aim to cover a variety of topics centered around the inclusion of mathematics in different art forms like painting, sculpture, architecture, textiles, and music. Moreover, we aim to address uses of these combinations for example in high school and university teaching or in outreach projects directed at the general public.

The official language of the minisymposium will be English. Each talk will be given 20 minutes plus an additional 5 minutes for questions. To propose a talk, please send a one-page abstract and an illustrating picture, a link to a video, or other supporting material to dmv.math.art@gmail.com. Please also notify us in case you want to put artworks on display.

Selected authors will be invited to extend their abstracts to full articles that will be published in the peer-reviewed online journal w/k. We are monitoring the situation concerning the spread of Covid-19 closely. The minisymposium will offer a possibility for online talks and will be held completely online should the need arise. Note that the publication outlet will be possible independent of the form of the minisymposium.

We are looking forward to your proposals,
Milena Damrau and Martin Skrodzki

Important Dates:

  • Deadline for Talk Proposals: May 29th
  • Acceptance Notification: June 15th
  • Conference: Chemnitz, Germany, 14. - 17. September 2020
  • Deadline for articles selected for publication: October 31st
A crafting sheet for an Archimedean solid, produced by U. Reitebuch.
Image: Courtesy of U. Reitebuch.