Kevin Lee

Instructor of Math/CSCI
Normandale Community College
Minneapolis Minnesota, USA

For several years I have written software to create Escher-like tessellations. The goal of my new program, TesselManiac!, is to have users (especially young ones) create tessellations and explore this connection of math and art. TesselManiac! allows you to create thirty-six types of isohedral tessellations. It includes several animations, including one where the tile morphs from a base polygon tile to the final shape.

I have been exploring techniques to laser cut and engrave tiles out of wood. Different species of wood are used to color the tiling . The tiles vary in thickness to add texture. I have been collaborating with Alain Nicolas who has produced many stunning tessellations using TesselManiac!

Viking in Wood Relief
Viking in Wood Relief
29 x 26 x 1 cm
Wood: Maple, Cherry, Walnut, Mahogany

This is my attempt at staging Alain Nicolas's Vikings as a wood ornament. Different species of wood of varying thickness are used in this three color design. The motif was created by Nicolas in TesselManiac! using Heesch type TCCTCC extended to include an interior mirror through the translated sides.

Pentagon 15 Wood Puzzle
Pentagon 15 Wood Puzzle
50 x 50 x 1 cm
Maple, Oil Stain, Lacquer

In 2015 Casey Mann, Jennifer McLoud and David Von Derau of the University of Washington Bothell discovered the fifteenth type of convex pentagon that will tile the plane periodically. The search to discover all possible types of convex pentagons that tile the plane started over a century ago and has a rich history. Type fourteen was found thirty years ago! It not obvious to see how this new pentagon tiles since the tiling is 3-isohedral and involves glide reflections and half-turns. It takes 12 tiles to make a translation unit. This puzzle set celebrates this new discovery and the beautiful pattern it creates. The puzzle contains individual tiles and 3-tile isohedral units with a tile from each of the three transitivity classes.