Some local pupils lost a geometric opportunity recently as they surveyed the cars in the car park. Did you know that car tyres, and the wheels that they on, are a rich source of geometry?
These images are taken from the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. Can you work out the basic unit that makes up each pattern? Can you continue the pattern? Can you see any similarities and. . . .
Given that ABCD is a square, M is the mid point of AD and CP is perpendicular to MB with P on MB, prove DP = DC.
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.
A design is repeated endlessly along a line - rather like a stream of paper coming off a roll. Make a strip that matches itself after rotation, or after reflection
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
Look carefully at the video of a tangle and explain what's happening.
Each of these solids is made up with 3 squares and a triangle around each vertex. Each has a total of 18 square faces and 8 faces that are equilateral triangles. How many faces, edges and vertices. . . .
Points off a rolling wheel make traces. What makes those traces have symmetry?
I noticed this about streamers that have rotation symmetry : if there was one centre of rotation there always seems to be a second centre that also worked. Can you find a design that has only. . . .
Can you describe what happens in this film?
When a strip has vertical symmetry there always seems to be a second place where a mirror line could go. Perhaps you can find a design that has only one mirror line across it. Or, if you thought that. . . .
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Here is a chance to create some Celtic knots and explore the mathematics behind them.
Can all but one square of an 8 by 8 Chessboard be covered by Trominoes?
Here is a chance to create some attractive images by rotating shapes through multiples of 90 degrees, or 30 degrees, or 72 degrees or...
Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?
Consider a watch face which has identical hands and identical marks for the hours. It is opposite to a mirror. When is the time as read direct and in the mirror exactly the same between 6 and 7?
A red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .
Using the 8 dominoes make a square where each of the columns and rows adds up to 8
Take a look at the photos of tiles at a school in Gibraltar. What questions can you ask about them?
In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make shapes with line symmetry?
An article for students and teachers on symmetry and square dancing. What do the symmetries of the square have to do with a dos-e-dos or a swing? Find out more?
The ten arcs forming the edges of the "holly leaf" are all arcs of circles of radius 1 cm. Find the length of the perimeter of the holly leaf and the area of its surface.
Each of the following shapes is made from arcs of a circle of radius r. What is the perimeter of a shape with 3, 4, 5 and n "nodes".
When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we didn't...?
Create a symmetrical fabric design based on a flower motif - and realise it in Logo.
Scheduling games is a little more challenging than one might desire. Here are some tournament formats that sport schedulers use.
An equilateral triangle is sitting on top of a square. What is the radius of the circle that circumscribes this shape?
An irregular tetrahedron has two opposite sides the same length a and the line joining their midpoints is perpendicular to these two edges and is of length b. What is the volume of the tetrahedron?
Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry