A gallery of beautiful photos of cast ironwork friezes in Australia with a mathematical discussion of the classification of frieze patterns.
Proofs that there are only seven frieze patterns involve complicated group theory. The symmetries of a cylinder provide an easier approach.
Sort the frieze patterns into seven pairs according to the way in which the motif is repeated.
How many different transformations can you find made up from combinations of R, S and their inverses? Can you be sure that you have found them all?
See the effects of some combined transformations on a shape. Can you describe what the individual transformations do?
Does changing the order of transformations always/sometimes/never produce the same transformation?
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
Why not challenge a friend to play this transformation game?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
Have you ever noticed how mathematical ideas are often used in patterns that we see all around us? This article describes the life of Escher who was a passionate believer that maths and art can be. . . .
This problem is based on the idea of building patterns using transformations.
This article looks at the importance in mathematics of representing places and spaces mathematics. Many famous mathematicians have spent time working on problems that involve moving and mapping. . . .
Jenny Murray describes the mathematical processes behind making patchwork in this article for students.
Experimenting with variables and friezes.
Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.
An introduction to groups using transformations, following on from the October 2006 Stage 3 problems.
This task develops knowledge of transformation of graphs. By framing and asking questions a member of the team has to find out which mathematical function they have chosen.
A cylindrical helix is just a spiral on a cylinder, like an ordinary spring or the thread on a bolt. If I turn a left-handed helix over (top to bottom) does it become a right handed helix?
Show how this pentagonal tile can be used to tile the plane and describe the transformations which map this pentagon to its images in the tiling.
What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by 99 square board?
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
How many differently shaped rectangles can you build using these equilateral and isosceles triangles? Can you make a square?
Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle now. . . .
This rectangle is cut into five pieces which fit exactly into a triangular outline and also into a square outline where the triangle, the rectangle and the square have equal areas.
With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
Draw all the possible distinct triangles on a 4 x 4 dotty grid. Convince me that you have all possible triangles.
The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?
Cut off three right angled isosceles triangles to produce a pentagon. With two lines, cut the pentagon into three parts which can be rearranged into another square.
Scientist Bryan Rickett has a vision of the future - and it is one in which self-parking cars prowl the tarmac plains, hunting down suitable parking spots and manoeuvring elegantly into them.
Make an eight by eight square, the layout is the same as a chessboard. You can print out and use the square below. What is the area of the square? Divide the square in the way shown by the red dashed. . . .