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by Marc Frantz and Annalisa Crannell

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Length: 248 pages3 hours

An undergraduate textbook devoted exclusively to relationships between mathematics and art, *Viewpoints* is ideally suited for math-for-liberal-arts courses and mathematics courses for fine arts majors. The textbook contains a wide variety of classroom-tested activities and problems, a series of essays by contemporary artists written especially for the book, and a plethora of pedagogical and learning opportunities for instructors and students.

*Viewpoints* focuses on two mathematical areas: perspective related to drawing man-made forms and fractal geometry related to drawing natural forms. Investigating facets of the three-dimensional world in order to understand mathematical concepts behind the art, the textbook explores art topics including comic, anamorphic, and classical art, as well as photography, while presenting such mathematical ideas as proportion, ratio, self-similarity, exponents, and logarithms. Straightforward problems and rewarding solutions empower students to make accurate, sophisticated drawings. Personal essays and short biographies by contemporary artists are interspersed between chapters and are accompanied by images of their work. These fine artists--who include mathematicians and scientists--examine how mathematics influences their art. Accessible to students of all levels, *Viewpoints* encourages experimentation and collaboration, and captures the essence of artistic and mathematical creation and discovery.

Classroom-tested activities and problem solving

Accessible problems that move beyond regular art school curriculum

Multiple solutions of varying difficulty and applicability

Appropriate for students of all mathematics and art levels

Original and exclusive essays by contemporary artists

Forthcoming: Instructor's manual (available only to teachers)

Publisher: Princeton University PressReleased: Jul 5, 2011ISBN: 9781400839056Format: book

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Page 1 of 1

VIEWPOINTS

*Mathematical Perspective and *

*Fractal Geometry in Art *

Marc Frantz

Annalisa Crannell

Copyright © 2011 by Princeton University Press

Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street,

Princeton, New Jersey 08540

In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, 6 Oxford Street,

Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1TW

press.princeton.edu

*Cover photo: Winter Road along the Trees*, by Wil Van Dorp

All Rights Reserved

Frantz, Marc, 1951–

Viewpoints: mathematical perspective and fractal geometry in art / Marc Frantz, Annalisa Crannell.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-0-691-12592-3 (hardback: alk. paper)

1. Perspective—Textbooks. 2. Fractals—Textbooks. 3. Art—Mathematics—Textbooks. I. Crannell, Annalisa. II. Title.

QA515 .F73 2011

742.01′51-dc22 2010053315

British Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data is Available

The publisher would like to acknowledge the authors of this volume for providing the camera-ready copy from which this book was printed.

Printed on acid-free paper. ∞

Printed in the United States of America

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

**Preface **

**Acknowledgments **

**1 Introduction to Perspective and Space Coordinates **

**Artist Vignette: Sherry Stone **

**2 Perspective by the Numbers **

**Artist Vignette: Peter Galante **

**3 Vanishing Points and Viewpoints **

**Artist Vignette: Jim Rose **

**4 Rectangles in One-Point Perspective **

**What’s My Line?: A Perspective Game **

**5 Two-Point Perspective **

**Artist Vignette: Robert Bosch **

**6 Three-Point Perspective and Beyond **

**Artist Vignette: Dick Termes **

**7 Anamorphic Art **

**Viewpoints at the Movies: The Hitchcock Zoom **

*Plates follow page 138 *

**8 Introduction to Fractal Geometry **

**Artist Vignette: Teri Wagner **

**9 Fractal Dimension **

**Artist Vignette: Kerry Mitchell **

**Answers to Selected Exercises **

**Appendix: Information for Instructors **

**Annotated, References **

**Index **

*Viewpoints *is an undergraduate text in mathematics and art suitable for math-for-liberal-arts courses, mathematics courses for fine art majors, and introductory art classes. Instructors in such courses at more than 25 institutions have already used an earlier online version of the text, called *Lessons in Mathematics and Art*. The material in these texts evolved from courses in mathematics and art which we developed in collaboration and taught at our respective institutions. In addition, this material has been tested at, and influenced by, a series of weeklong Viewpoints faculty development workshops.

PEDAGOGICAL APPROACH

The approach of *Viewpoints *is highly activity based, much like the approach of teaching in art school. As many of our workshop graduates will attest, the true value of the material can only be fully appreciated by engaging in these activities, and not by merely reading the book. We have endeavored to include problems and activities of genuine interest and value to art students—problems that go significantly beyond what students normally learn in art school. In our experience the authenticity of the problems makes them genuinely interesting, not only to art majors but to students from a broad range of disciplines. We have included a detailed appendix for instructors which includes advice on the window-taping activity of Chapter 1, a sample timetable for a first-year seminar course based on *Viewpoints*, and a list of additional writing assignments.

We have endeavored to make sure that the problems are real math problems. Happily, there is a wealth of problems at the boundary of mathematics and art having a number of excellent pedagogical properties: (1) the problems are natural and easily understood; (2) the problems have multiple solutions of varying difficulty and applicability; (3) the problems admit multiple proofs, both geometric and algebraic; (4) once arrived at, the solutions are easy to remember and rewarding to use; and (5) the search for solutions captures the essence of mathematical research and discovery. (We demonstrate in depth how this fivefold approach comes to bear on a single problem in the solution to Exercise 8 of Chapter 4.) We have sought to make the problems in this book embody each of these characteristics, at a level that is accessible to every undergraduate student.

ARTIST VIGNETTES

A special feature of the text is a series of personal essays which we call Artist Vignettes. During the course of our project we have been fortunate to meet a number of professional artists who have generously contributed to the book. Each Vignette contains a short biography, an artist’s statement, and some images of the artist’s work. Color images of the artists’ work will also appear in the color plate section. We feel that the input of practicing artists informed about mathematics will be an exciting and attractive addition to the text.

ORIGIN OF THE TEXT

The initial course development and the first Viewpoints workshops were supported by the Indiana University Mathematics Throughout the Curriculum project, the Indiana University Strategic Directions Initiative, Franklin & Marshall College, and the National Science Foundation (NSF-DUE 9555408). The 2001 workshop was also supported by the Professional Enhancement Program of the Mathematical Association of America. We revised and expanded the text as part of a collaboration between our two institutions, supported by an NSF Educational Materials Development grant (NSF-DUE 0439891 and 0439713).

The first glimmerings of this book appeared fifteen years ago, when the two authors happened to have the good luck to be in the same place (IUPUI) at the same time (fall of 1995), just as Indiana University proposed a Mathematics Throughout the Curriculum project (MTC) to the National Science Foundation. The fearless leader of that grant was Dan Maki. Since then, he’s been supportive of our small part of his larger project at every stage: as we started teaching math-and-art courses at our two home institutions, as we started writing up our materials, as we put together our Viewpoints summer workshops for college instructors, and as we hosted our follow-up reunions. We couldn’t imagine a better fearless leader than Dan, and to him goes our heartfelt gratitude.

As memory serves, it was Bart Ng, Dan’s coleader, who first mentioned the idea of our collaboration. We’re grateful to Bart for his support and for the spark that led to such a long and rewarding adventure.

And of course, we’re very grateful to the National Science Foundation for the grant to MTC (NSF-DUE 9555408), and for the grants to our own collaborative project (NSF-DUE 0439891 and NSF-DUE 0439713) to write and disseminate this book.

Tina Straley, Brian Winkel, Pippa Drew, and Dorothy Wallace invited us to Dartmouth in the summer of 1998 for a wonderful workshop on math and the humanities. Pippa and Dorothy have done a lot of nice work with symmetry groups and art, and we learned a lot from them—including the joys of running a workshop! It’s no coincidence that the first Viewpoints workshop came two summers after that.

One of our first and most determined Viewpointers

(as we called our workshop participants) was Sister Barbara Reynolds of Cardinal Stritch University. It was Sr. Barbara who brought Peter Galante and Teri Wagner to our attention; she came to our workshop two years in a row and sent even more of her colleagues in later years. In her position as Editor of the MAA Notes series, she played a pivotal role in encouraging our manuscript. The world should have more people like Sr. Barbara; Marc and Annalisa are glad that our own world includes at least one version of her.

A second Barbara entered our life in 2001, when the emerging MAA-PREP program funded the Viewpoints workshop and assigned us an evaluator. Barbara Edwards has served (at our request) as our project evaluator since then; she’s not only super at cross-country pedagogy, but also is a wonderful person!

And we must have kissed the right frog, because Vickie Kearn agreed to be our editor (and Princeton University Press our publisher). We knew we were working with the right people when Vickie told us she was working all the problems herself just for fun.

Viewpointer John Putz gave our manuscript a thorough reading before coming to the last workshop, and made many helpful suggestions. We’re flattered and thankful for his careful attention. We’re likewise grateful for super-detailed comments from Viewpointers Leah Berman Williams and Andrius Tamulis.

We are very grateful to each of our Viewpointers, who spent a week (or two!) in close proximity with us, poring over spreadsheets and fence posts and giving us the kind of honest and immediate feedback that made us think and rethink our material. The next round of masking tape and shish kebab skewers goes to them: Abdel-Rida Saleh, Alex I. Bostandjiev, Alexandra Robinson, Alice Petillo, Amanda K. Ser ene vy, Amy E. Wheeler, Amy N. Myers, Andrius Tamulis, Andrzej Gutek, Ann C. Hanson, Anna M. Gavioli, Anne E. Edlin, Azar N. Khosravani, Barbara Duval, Barbara E. Reynolds, Barbara Edwards, Barbara Pinkall, Bernard Mathon, Betty Clifford, Bill Branson, Burkell Fleming, Calvin Williamson, Carol Piersol, Carolyn H. Campbell, Cathy W. Carter, Clifford Davis, Cynthia L. McGinnis, Darwyn C. Cook, David G. Hartz, Daylene Zielinski, Di-nesh G. Sarvate, Donald McElheny, Doug Norton, Douglas E. Ensley, Edwina C. Richmond, Gordon Williams, Irina Ivanova, J. Paul Balog, J. Scott Billie, Jackie Hall, Jacqueline A. Bakal, Jan G. Minton, Janette Flaws, Janice C. Sklensky, Jay M. Kappraff, Jean B. Mastrangeli, Jennifer M. Rodin, Jim R. Rose, John F. Putz, Jonathan D. Schweig, Joshua Thompson, Joy H. Hsiao, Juan Marin, Judith C. Meckley, Judy A. Kennedy, Judy A. Silver, Julian F. Fleron, Julianne M. Labbiento, Kathi Crow, Kathleen M. McGarvey, Kerry E. Fields, Kerry Mitchell, Kevin Hartshorn, Lasse Savola, Laura Eden, Leah Berman Williams, Leslie Hayes, Lily Moshe, Linda H. Tansil, Lindsay B. Hilbert, Lisa A. Mantini, Lun-Yi Tsai, Lyn Miller, M. John Kezys, M. P. Chaudhary, Marian A. Van Vleet, Marianne Neufeld, Marilyn Gottlieb-Roberts, Marion D. Cohen, Mark D. Binkley, Mark D. Schlatter, Martina Z. Mincheva, Mary Anne Stewart, Mary Jane Wolfe, Mary Williams, Mary Woestman, Meltem Ceylan Alibeyoglu, Michelle Y. Penner, Mike Daven, Mindi Thalenfeld, Nancy Prudic, Naomita Malik, Natalie Niblack, Natalie Rivera, Ozlem Cezikturk, Patricia A. Oakley, Patricia Hauss, Patricia K. Jayne, Patricia S. Hill, Penny H. Dunham, Peter Galante, Peter N. Bartram, Peter Reeves, Premalatha Junius, Rachael H. Kenney, Rachel W. Hall, Rafael Espericueta, Raymond A. Beaulieu, Robert A. Bosch, Robert Lewand, Robert Wolfe, Ruth F. Favro, Sakura S. Therrien, Sandra Camomile, Sandy Yeager, Sarah A. Berten, Shangyou S. Zhang, Sharon E. Persinger, Shehraiz Husain, Sheli Petersen, Shirley L. Yap, Sid Malik, Stanislav P. Bratovanov, Stanley Eigen, Stephen F. May, Stephen I. Gendler, Steve Cope, Susan L. Banks, Susan Shifrin, Tamara Lakins, Tanea Richardson, Teresa D. Magnus, Teri G. Wagner, Thomas George, Toby Rivkin, Tom Rizzotti, Trisha M. Moller, Valerie Hollis, Vickie Kearn, William D. Ergle, William Seeley, and Wing Mui. We think you’re all 8 heads tall!

Marc is especially grateful to Neil Gussman, who has been a fantastic supporter of Viewpoints all along. Not only did you contribute your time when we needed help, Neil, you were there as a great husband and dad when the needs of our Viewpointers diverted Annalisa’s time and energy (and even the family blankets) away from home. More than that, seeing the way you have bravely met your own challenges has impressed me and reminded me of the strength and optimism we all need to face what life has in store for us.

Annalisa particularly wants to thank Paula Frantz, who has become a friend over these last dozen years. Paula, you’ve been courageous and creative and caring. From you, I have learned to respond to change by taking a deep breath, relaxing, and resting in faith. There aren’t enough thank yous to express how much I appreciate your taking such good care of the both of us during these roller-coaster times.

OUR FIRST PERSPECTIVE ACTIVITY involves using masking or drafting tape**¹ to make a perspective picture of a building on a window (Figure 1.1). It’s tricky! One person (the Art Director) must stand rooted to the spot, with one eye closed. Using the one open eye, the Art Director directs one or more people (the Artists), telling them where to place masking tape in order to outline architectural features as seen from the Director’s unique viewpoint. In Figure 1.1, this process resulted in a simple but fairly respectable perspective drawing of the University Library at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. **

Figure 1.1. Making a masking tape drawing on a window.

If no windows with views of architecture are available, then a portable window

made of Plexiglas will do just as well. In **Figure 1.2, workshop participants at the Indianapolis Museum of Art are making masking tape pictures of interior architectural details in a hallway. **

Figure 1.2. Plexiglas will do the job indoors.

Figure 1.3. Using a display case.

Finally, if a sheet of Plexiglas is not available, the window of a display case will also work. In this case, the Art Director directs the Artists in making a picture of the interior of the case (**Figure 1.3). **

If the masking tape picture from **Figure 1.1 is put in digital form (either by photographing and scanning, or by photographing with a digital camera) it can be drawn on in a computer program, and some interesting patterns emerge. (Figure 1.4). **

Figure 1.4. Two observations of the library drawing.

**Observation 1**. Lines in the real world that are parallel to each other, and *also *parallel**² to the picture plane (the window) have parallel (masking tape) images. **

**Observation 2**. Lines in the real world that are parallel to each other, but *not *parallel to the picture plane, have images that converge to a common point called a *vanishing point*.

Two such vanishing points, *V*1 and *V*2, are indicated in **Figure 1.4. The correct use of vanishing points and other geometric devices can greatly enhance not only one’s ability to draw realistically, but also one’s ability to appreciate and enjoy art. To properly understand such things, we need a geometric interpretation of our perspective experiment (Figure 1.5). As you can see from Figure 1.5, we’re going to be using some mathematical objects called points, planes, and lines. To begin describing these objects, let’s start with points. **

Figure 1.5. Mathematical description of the window-taping experiment.

It’s assumed that you’re familiar with the idea of locating points in a plane using the standard *xy*-coordinate system. To locate points in 3-dimensional space (3-space), we need to introduce a third coordinate called a *z*-coordinate. The standard arrangement of the *xyz*-coordinate axes looks like **Figure 1.6; the positive x-axis points toward you. **

For a point *P*(*x, y, z*) in 3-space, we can think of the *x, y*, and *z*-coordinates as out,

over,

and up,

respectively. For instance, in **Figure 1.6, the point P(4, 5, 6) can be located by starting at the origin (0, 0,0) and going out toward you 4 units along the x-axis (you’d go back if the x-coordinate were negative), then over 5 units to the right (you’d go to the left if the y-coordinate were negative), and finally 6 units up (you’d go down if the z-coordinate were negative). **

Figure 1.6. The standard *xyz*-coordinate system.

We took a look at the standard *xyz*-system in **Figure 1.6 simply because it is the standard system, and you may see it again in another course. However, it will be convenient for our purposes to use the slightly different xyz-coordinate system in Figure 1.7—it’s the one we’ll be using from now on. In Figure 1.7 we have included sketches of three special planes called the coordinate planes. In this case, we have to think of the x, y, and z-coordinates as **

out,

up,and

over,respectively, as indicated in the figure.

**Margin Exercise 1.1**. What are the missing vertex coordinates of this block whose faces are parallel to the coordinate planes?

Figure 1.7. The coordinate system we will use.

A first look at how this coordinate system will be used to study perspective is presented in **Figure 1.8. A light ray from a point P(x, y, z) on an object travels in a straight line to the viewer’s eye located at E(0, 0, −d), piercing the picture plane z = 0 at the point P′(x′, y′, 0) and (in our imagination) leaves behind an appropriately colored dot. The set of all such colored dots forms the perspective image of the object and hopefully fools the eye into seeing the real thing. **

Figure 1.8. Perspective as a problem in coordinates.

**Margin Exercise 1.2**. Suppose we are given two points *A*(3, 3, 2) and *B*(4, 2, 7) in the coordinate system of **Figure 1.8. **

Which is higher?

Which is closer to the viewer?

Which is further to the viewer’s left?

In the next chapter we will see how to use this coordinate method to make pictures in perspective, much like special effects artists do in the movies. We close this chapter by taking a look at how even the most basic mathematics can help us make better drawings.

**A Brief Look at Human Proportions **

Most untrained artists will draw the human figure with the head too large and the hands and feet too small (**Figure 1.9). To prevent these common mistakes, artists have made measurements and observations, and come up with some approximate rules, some of which may surprise you: **

heads tall.

• Your open hand is as big as your whole face.

• Your foot is as long as your forearm (from elbow to wrist).

That last one really is pretty surprising—we have big feet! To see that these principles result in good proportions, take a look at the two versions of the painting by Diego Velazquez in **Figure 1.10. **

Figure 1.9. Detail of a family portrait by Lauren Auster-Gussman at 8 years old. Note the height of the father in heads marked on the right, and the small hands and feet of the mother.

Figure 1.10. Diego Velazquez, *Pablo de Vallodolid*, c. 1635 oil on canvas 82.5 × 48.5 in.

In the digitally altered version on the right, we see that the figure is about 7 heads tall, the left hand (superimposed) is as big as the face, and the man’s right foot, when superimposed on his right forearm, just about covers it from elbow

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