Emanuela Ughi

Tenured Researcher of Mathematics - Teacher
Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica - Università di Perugia
Italy
All my life I have loved geometrical shapes, and there is nothing I enjoy more than inspiring others to love them, too. I have always found it difficult, though, to describe the mental images of mathematical objects through words alone. It was for this reason that I began constructing geometrical objects: art works, manipulatives, puzzles, and more - to communicate the elegance and beauty of shape. And I have seen, time and again how, by viewing and handling complex objects in concrete form, people of all ages glean an appreciation for – and understanding of – them. It is a joy for me to hear the astonished exclamation: “Ohhhh!” when someone has grasped a mathematical concept through the medium of one of my objects.
The Stijlish Seed of Life
40 x 40 cm
Wood
2019
A single wooden puzzle, based on the Seed of Life (one circle surrounded by other 6 circles, arranged as in the upper left corner image): white, black, grey, yellow, red and blue, the colours of Mondrian.
Mondrian used straight lines, here there are circles: straight lines and circles are the only curves, in the plane, that have a continuous group of isometries. This geometric property allows the pieces of the puzzle to adapt in many (potentially infinite) ways, into different combinations of shapes and colours.