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November 13, 2018 at 9:57 am

Islamic Geometric Patterns Bring out the Artist in Muhammad

Graduate student Rebin Muhammad gave an invited talk at Grand Rapids Community College on Oct. 30, and his talk about symmetries in Islamic geometric pattern and how math made him interested in art was posted on YouTube.

Muhammad, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Mathematics at Ohio University, presented a seminar on “Symmetries in Alhambra.”

“I love Islamic geometric patterns,” he said. After seeing some interesting art on Instagram and noticing the geometrical patterns, he began painting himself.

“I always saw myself as never being into art, never drawing or painting. I felt, ‘I don’t have anything to do with that.”

But after he was introduced to Islamic geometric pattern, he bought a lot of art supplies. “And I started painting on this, tried doing some kind of nice patterns.”

He started sending his artwork to friends, and they loved it.

“So from never doing art, I have been involved in actively doing art, and this is all because of math. And I believe this is a very strong message. We have to send it to people who don’t do math because they feel math is somehow abstract; it’s boring; it’s (something) only the elite can do. But I believe there is another side of math.”

Abstract: An Islamic geometric pattern is a two-dimensional wallpaper that is created by only using a compass and ruler. The history of Islamic geometric patterns dates back to the 8th century and can been seen in most Islamic countries, where it is used in decorating the walls of buildings and mosques. We will explore some of these patterns.

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