Public Lecture
 GERDA DE VRIES, University of Alberta
Making Mathematics with Needle and Thread: Quilts as Mathematical Objects [PDF]

The connection between textiles and mathematics is intimate but not often explored, possibly because textiles and fiber arts have traditionally been the domain of women while mathematics was viewed as a male endeavour. How times have changed! Today, textiles and mathematics, like art and science, are recognized for their interwoven, complimentary attributes. In this presentation, I will examine the connection between textiles and mathematics, in the context of both traditional and contemporary quilts. In a sense, every quilt is a mathematical object, by virtue of the fact that it has shape and
dimension. But some quilts are more mathematical than others, and in very different ways. I will show how mathematical concepts such as symmetry, fractals, and algorithmic design show up in the world of quilting through serendipitous and intentional design.
© Canadian Mathematical Society