# Mathematics Consultant To Artists

## Dr. Roy Lisker

### Problem-Solving ;Brainstorming
;Instruction ; Research

####
Author, mathematician and musician, Roy Lisker is
uniquely qualified as an advisor and consultant on
problems that may arise when creative artists try to
use unfamiliar mathematics.

Unfortunately the
manner by which the "New Math" was introduced, then
abandoned, in primary and secondary education has led
many persons working in the arts and humanities to
reject powerful conceptual tools in logic, set theory
and abstract algebra that could be useful to them. Yet
modern artists and scholars cannot avoid having to
deal with areas of mathematics relevant to their
fields.

Artists and mathematicians have always
collaborated. For example, covering a plane with
congruent tiles depends upon a special algebraic group
of 17 elements, familiarly known as the "wallpaper
group" from its application to wallpaper design. Every
one of these 17 basic congruent tiling patterns can be
seen in the abstract mosaics of Arab civilization, and
are all present in the stonework of the Alhambra in
Granada, Spain.One sees them also in Japanese prints
and in the works of the Dutch artist, M.C. Escher.

Music and mathematics would appear to be the dual
faces of the same intellectual faculty; indeed in the
curriculum developed by the great Roman scholar,
Boethius, which dominated education in the Middle
Ages, music and mathematics were treated as
complementary branches of the same subject.

Knowledge of the relationship between consonant
musical intervals, the lengths of strings and heights
of wind columns was attributed to the Pythagoreans as
early as 500 BC.

The content, if not necessarily
the form, of prose and poetry often treats of current
science, including mathematics. Certainly science
fiction writers would greatly benefit from more direct
communication with mathematicians, physicists and
other scientists.

In a few words, modern
artists, writers and scholars can no longer avoid
having to deal with those branches of mathematics
relevant to their discipline. It is therefore often
advisable to consult with someone trained in
mathematics who has also done a considerable amount of
work in arts and letters.

I have worked with
composers, musicologists, poets, economists,
historians, graphic artists and others, and have been
often credited with a natural ability to convey
difficult subject matter.

### Contact: Roy Lisker

8
Liberty Street #8

Middletown, CT 06457

rlisker@yahoo.com

#### Return to