## Improvement and Exploration in Mathematical Art

Maple , Maple Learn

The concept of “Maple Learn art” debuted on the MaplePrimes blog in December 2021.  Since then, we’ve come a long way with new Maple Learn features and ever-growing creative minds.  Creating art using mathematical expressions and shapes is a great way to hone both your mathematical skills and your creativity, and is the perfect break from a bout of studying or the like.

I started my own Maple Learn art journey over one year ago.  Let’s see how one’s art can improve over time using new and advanced features!

Art with Shapes, March 2022

This pi-themed pie is simple and cute, but could use some additional features:

Fun fact: I hand-picked all of the coordinates for that pi symbol.  It was an arduous but rewarding process.  Nowadays, I recommend a new method.  When you create a table in Maple Learn with two number columns, the values are plotted as points.  These points can be clicked and dragged across the plot window, and the table updates automatically to display the new coordinates.  How can you use this to make art?

1. Create a table as described above.
2. Move the points with your mouse to create an outline of the desired shape.

Let’s apply these techniques in a newer piece: a full recreation of the spaghetti emoji!

Art with Shapes, August 2023

Would you look at that?!  Fully-shaded colors, a background, and lines of spaghetti noodles that weren’t painstakingly guesstimated combine to create a wonderfully improved piece of art.

Art with Animation, March 2022

Visit the document to see its animation.  Animation is an invaluable feature in Maple Learn, frequently utilized to observe how changing variables affect functions or model a concept.  We’ve harnessed its power for animated artwork!  This animation is cute, using parametric functions and more to change the image as the animation variable changes.  Like the previous piece, it’s missing a background, and the leaves overlap the stem awkwardly in some places.

Art with Animation, August 2023

This piece has a simple background made with a large black square, but it enhances the overall effect.

The animation here comes from piecewise functions, which display different values based on a given criterion.  In this case, the criterion is the current value of the animation variable.

There are 32 individual polygons in this image (including 8 really tiny ones along the edges!) and 8 rainbow colors.  Each color is associated with a different piecewise function, and displays four random squares in that color in each frame of the animation.

This image isn’t that much more advanced than the animated flower, but I think the execution has vastly improved.

Whether you’ve been following these blog posts since December 2021 or are new to Maple Learn, we hope you give Maple Learn art a try.

And don’t forget that Maple is also a goldmine of artistic potential.  Maple’s bountiful collection of packages such as Fractals, ColorTools, plottools and more are great places to start for math that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is informative.

This week, our staff participated in a series of art challenges using either Maple Learn or Maple itself, each featuring a suggested theme and suggested mathematical content.  Check out the challenges and some of our employees’ entries below, and try out a challenge for yourself!

Tuesday’s Art Theme: Pasta

Mathematical Content: Shapes

Example: Lazar Paroski’s spiraling take on spaghetti

Wednesday’s Art Theme: Nature

Mathematical Content: Fractals

Example: John May’s Penrose tiling landscape (in Maple!)

Thursday’s Art Theme: Disco

Mathematical Content: Animation

Example: Paulina Chin’s disco ball (in Maple!)

Friday’s Art Theme: Space

Mathematical Content: Color

Example: that’s today!  Who knows what our staff will create…?

We hope these prompts have inspired you! If you create some art you’re really proud of, consider submitting it to be featured in the 2023 Maple Conference’s Creative Works Showcase.

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