M is for Math, Museum and Manhattan, Kansas
by Natasha Rozhkovskaya

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The book M is for Math, Museum, and Manhattan, Kansas is the author's personal encounter on how mathematics can bring new understanding of fine arts.

The bonds between art and mathematics are well-known, but yet we rarely apply the mathematical thinking while visiting a fine arts museum. The author illustrates on the examples of the artworks of the collection of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art located in Manhattan, Kansas, how mathematical insight contributes to a better understanding of the artwork and the artist's methods and intentions.

The mathematical topics of the book that arose from viewing of artworks in the local museum include a wide variety of concepts:

  • properties of polyhedra
  • combinatorics of dice throwing
  • symmetry
  • geometry of circles
  • Fibonacci sequence and golden ratio
  • geometric optics
  • linear perspective
  • star polygons
  • non-orientable surfaces

Each chapter contains a study of an art object from the museum's collection followed by a mathematical discussion, a list of mathematical problems, biographical notes on the artists, and creative projects.

The art under consideration is not limited to the collection of the Beach museum, the related examples of the artworks from the the most famous art museums of the world are also listed in the book.

The material is based on the workshops taught by the author at the math enrichment program Math Circle Seminar at Kansas State University.

Readership: The book is addressed to a broad spectrum of readers interested in relations between art and mathematics, including the general public, professional mathematicians, professional artists, math and art educators, parents and school students.

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