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Angels and Devils

  • Thursday, October 17, 2019
  • 3:40 PM–4:30 PM
  • North Hall 276

Gerard Venema, Calvin University (Emeritus)

You’ve probably noticed the Escher print “Circle Limit IV” that is displayed on the wall outside Professor Ferdinands office.  When you see the drawing, you get the sense that there is something mathematical about it.  The fact that it’s on display in the mathematics department is another hint that there’s mathematics involved.  In this talk I will explain the mathematics behind Circle Limit IV and other Escher prints and tell the story of how Escher came to know the relevant geometry.  We will see that Escher drew the Angels and Devils motif in several different geometries and also did a number of variations on the Circle Limit theme.  All of these patterns can be understood and classified mathematically.

Refreshments precede the talk at 3:30 p.m. in NH 282.

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