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The Mathematician’s Shirts

Patches ready to sew

Patches ready to sew

The shirt symbolizes the formality of a male-dominated society and of conformance to society’s rules. Mathematics, too, is a realm of formality and rules populated largely by men. Yet in both shirts and mathematics there is room for creativity and individuality.

In The Mathematician’s Shirt project, artist Madeleine Shepherd and mathematician Julia Collins set about challenging these notions by turning a collection of formal shirts (donated by mathematicians!) into mathematical art. Inspired by the work of mathematicians in Edinburgh, the fabric of the shirts got twisted into 4-dimensional shapes, woven into knots and stitched into different geometries.