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# View the MidPoW (March 11 - 25, 2002): Tiling Triangles Definition When you fit individual tiles together with

no gaps or overlaps to fill a flat space like a ceiling, wall, or floor, you have a tiling. You can imagine that you can use a variety of shapes to do this. Here are some examples:

using one of the pentomino shapes

using rectangles

using triangles

Another word for a tiling is a tessellation. Read more here: What is a Tessellation? A special kind of tiling or tessellation is rep-tiling. No, these rep-tiles aren't living things, although some of you might be thinking of the figures in some of M.C. Escher's work. The "rep" in "rep-tile" stands for "replicating." Rep-tiles can be joined together to make larger replicas of themselves. Learn more here: Reptiles by Andrew Clarke. Another special kind of tiling or tessellation is Penrose tiling named after the British physicist and mathematician, Roger Penrose. The tiling is comprised of two rhombi,

one with angles of 36 and 144 degrees and one with angles of 72 and 108 degrees. . Depending on the program. Whenever a "bump" or "hole" is added to a side. the corresponding tessellation either accompanies the tessellating shape or appears at the press of a button. including stamps. Learn more here: Aperiodic Tiling with Penrose Rhombs by Nancy Casey. the program removes or adds the corresponding "hole" or "bump" from/to the appropriate side according to the rule selected. EXPLORING TESSELLATIONS WITH COMPUTER SOFTWARE Once they have used Escher's tessellations to explore the transformations that can be used to create tessellating art. students are given the opportunity to create their own artwork on a computer with TesselMania!© or Tessellation Exploration© software. are available for adding interior interpreting features. they select a polygon and a modifying rule or rules. Classic paint tools. Within either program.

Each student's original artwork can be printed on transfer material suitable for color bubblejet printers. The results are truly outstanding! . and then ironed onto a T-shirt.

The creature is an adaptation of the one that appears in Escher's lithograph Reptiles. Reptiles .POLYGONS AND TESSELLATIONS A simple connect-the-dots exercise is used to introduce the concept of a polygon. The 50sided polygon in the solution resembles a reptile. C. several identical lizards interlock in a jigsaw puzzle configuration ortessellation. A set of 15 large soft foam lizards is available from the Imagination Project (telephone 888-477-6532 or 513-860-2711). Escher . In the graphic.M.

a square will eventually be visible. (The measure of their interior angle divides 360 exactly.) . the mirrors stand alone.To introduce students to regular polygons. they will view a reflection-based equilateral triangle. [Suitable 2 ¼" x 3 ½" mirrors are available from ETA/Cuisenaire. a regular heptagon. in turn. each is provided with a pair of plastic mirrors hinged together with cloth tape. the students discover that only three of the regular polygons tessellate the plane. a regular hexagon. If the students move their hinged mirrors towards one another. If the students place their hinged mirrors on the broken lines in the figure below. If they continue to move the mirrors towards one another. and so forth. a regular pentagon.] When the assembly is opened like a book. After investigating the measure of each polygon's interior angle. they will see.

the resulting equilateral triangle prism can be used to generate tessellating art with reflectional symmetry.) A generating triangle for Escher's Lizard/Fish/Bat tessellation (Tessellation 85) appears below. Two examples follow. Escher (click for enlargement) Students can create a generating triangle for a tessellation with reflectional symmetry by drawing identical or distinct curves from the center of an equilateral triangle to its vertices.M.If a third mirror is added to the hinged mirror assembly. C. (The configuration of mirrors is maintained with an elastic band. Tessellation 85 . .

You will require two copies of the block to complete the exercise. Using a marker. Step 3: Launch Tessellation Exploration. Suitable examples will be found in Quilt Blocks Galore and Quilt Block Collection (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader). Zoom in to enlarge the view. consult Mary Ellen Hopkin's The It's Okay If You Sit on My Quilt Book with over 350 color examples of geometric quilt blocks on a gridded background. then open the appropriate file in the directory of square grids. They extend from corner to opposite corner of the corresponding squares on the grid. You don't have to be artistically gifted to be creative with quilt blocks just careful! To begin.Creating a Quilt Block with Tessellation Exploration The following steps will allow you to reproduce many traditional quilt blocks as a Tessellation Exploration tile. As an example.tsl>. you can design your own patterns and then recreate them with the software. open the file <4x4.zip. Once you master the process. Step 1: Select a traditional quilt-block pattern that is based on a square grid. For the best printed resource. . Notice the diagonal lines of the block. we will select the 4x4 quilt block called Cube Lattice. superimpose a drawing of the 4x4 grid over one copy of the block. Step 2: Cube Lattice is based on a 4x4 square grid. For Cube Lattice. Unzip this collection of Tessellation Exploration square grid files to a convenient location on your hard drive. download the compressed file sqgrids.

we will use the two colors of a standard color pair for the parallelograms. color double-white all pixels in horizontal and vertical lines that are not part of the block pattern. Both cross hairs of the cursor should line up with the horizontal and vertical grid lines when you depress the mouse button to begin a diagonal line and again when you release it. add all appropriate diagonal lines to the grid on the computer screen. Step 6: Color the patches of the block with the Paint Bucket tool. but the Pencil tool works best for fixing pixels adjacent to lines that are part of the block pattern. Zoom in and out as needed.Step 4: Using the Line tool in the double-black color and the thinnest line width. You may use theEraser tool where convenient. Step 5: Study the original quilt block (the copy without the superimposed square grid). . and double-black for the squares. With the Pencil tool and the thinnest line width. For this example. Each diagonal line should have exactly one pixel per row and column.

but you may elect to use contrasting coloring for a different effect. SAME COLORING CONTRASTING COLORING .Step 7: Notice that the default setting for the corresponding tessellation is same coloring.

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or polytopes( tessellation. polyhedra (three dimensions). Tessellations can be specified using a Schläfli symbol.Tessellation A tiling of regular polygons (in two dimensions). dimensions) is called a The breaking up of self-intersecting polygons into simple polygons is also called tessellation (Woo et al. polygon tessellation. There are exactly three regular tessellations composed of regular polygons symmetrically tiling the plane. or more properly. . 1999).

In the plane. pp. 76-78. pp. 78-82. pp. pp. or sometimes Archimedean tessellations. .Tessellations of the plane by two or more convex regular polygons such that the samepolygons in the same order surround each polygon vertex are called semiregular tessellations. Steinhaus 1999. illustrated above (Ghyka 1977. Williams 1979. 37-41. Wells 1991. there are eight such tessellations. 226-227).

a polyhedron which is capable of tessellating space is called a space-filling polyhedron.Kepler's Monsters. p.Semiregular Tessellation. Steinhaus 1999. 43. Regular Tessellation. pp. 62-67. Square Grid.Symmetry. Honeycomb. There is also a 16-sided space-filler and a convex polyhedron known as theSchmitt-Conway biprism which fills space only aperiodically. Spiral Similarity. Triangular Symmetry Group. Examples include the cube. Williams 1979. In three dimensions. Semiregular Polyhedron. SEE ALSO: Archimedean Solid. Space-Filling Polyhedron. pp. Hexagonal Grid. Hinged Tessellation. Triangulation. Wallpaper Groups REFERENCES: . A tessellation of -dimensional polytopes is called a honeycomb. Demiregular Tessellation.There are 14 demiregular (or polymorph) tessellations which are orderly compositions of the three regular and eight semiregular tessellations (Critchlow 1970. Ghyka 1977. pp. 79 and 81-82). Triangular Grid. Cell. Schläfli Symbol. Cairo Tessellation. Honeycomb Conjecture. Dual Tessellation. rhombic dodecahedron. Tiling. 78-80. and truncated octahedron.

and Crystals. London: Penguin.htm.vicher. "Tessellations. 1987. Miles of Tiles. CA: Elysian Pub. 199-207.com/encyclopedias/books/Tilings. 1966. Martin Gardner's New Mathematical Diversions from Scientific American. Norton. NJ: Prentice-Hall. "Totally Tessellated." §8. New York: Viking Press. B. S. M. 1970. M. 1991. and Coxeter. "Mosaics. Freeman. "Tilings with Convex Polygons. 1999. Mathematical Recreations and Essays.2 in Mathematical Recreations. H." http://library. pp./Tetra. p. M. New York: Dover. M. W. with Chapters on Space-Lattices. S. Sphere-Packs. CA: Wide World Publ. "Archimedean Polyhedra. Gardner. Englewood Cliffs. W. . J. Lines. New York: W. 75. Kraitchik. Ghyka." Ch. 75-76 and 78-82.cz/puzzle/telesa/telesa. Math. Solid Geometry. E. Mathematical Snapshots. pp. Radin. Steinhaus..Ball. The Mathematical Tourist: Snapshots of Modern Mathematics. New York: W. 120-122.ericweisstein. H. 1999. 3rd ed. 1977. Mathematical Models. Rawles. pp. D. 1988. 3rd ed." http://www.New York: W. and Williams. K. I. Wells. pp." http://www. England: Tarquin Pub.org/16661/. pp. Britton. Cundy. San Carlos. "Books about Tilings. pp.. 1942. New York: Dover. A.. Vichera. M. Providence. L. T. Symmetry and Tessellations: Investigating Patterns. K. A.. 1972. 13 in Time Travel and Other Mathematical Bewilderments. Kay. R." The Joy of Mathematics. H. 1989. and Rollett. Freeman. pp. 60-63. 1988. 199 and 204-207 1965. 201-203. M. The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Geometry. Walsh. 1999. 213. The Geometry of Art and Life. Order in Space: A Design Source Book. Peterson. Critchlow. New York: Simon and Schuster. 13th ed. RI: Amer. 1997. Nevada City. H. and 226-227. pp. Weisstein. Bhushan. 121. C. pp. Sacred Geometry Design Sourcebook: Universal Dimensional Patterns.. 1989. New York: Dover. 162-176. "Characterizing the Vertex Neighbourhoods of Semi-Regular Polyhedra. W. 117-123. Soc. H. New York: Dover. Pappas. W." Geometriae Dedicata 1. 105-107. Stradbroke. R. E. Gardner.html. T.thinkquest.

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