[Session 6] [Outline] [Session 8]

Session 7 - Escher and the Impossible with Bryan Clair

Bryan Clair


A look at Bryan Clair’s web site will convince you that he’s a mathematician you’d like to know better. How many mathematicians have “Puzzles” as a tab on their web page or have done research on “optimal strategies for sports betting pools?’

As part of teaching a course on Escher Math, Bryan Clair and Anneke Bart created an online site about EscherMath.  The resource is linked below.  This site include amazing graphics, including photos of architecture based on the ideas of Escher.

In this seminar Bryan will talk about some of the "impossible figures" in some of Escher's works and how the "impossibility" connects with our perception of depth.

Bryan Clair studied math and computer science at Berkeley and then completed his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Chicago. He now teaches at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Saint Louis University.

Reading, Viewing and Listening Materials

Depth and Perspective, and Impossible Exploration from Math and the Art of M.C. Escher *

Art and Articles from Impossible World

How to draw an impossible triangle

Mark Newbold's Animated Necker Cube

Escher's "Relativity" in LEGO

Impossible rolling ball illusions: Two ramps, Four ramps

Animated short with impossible staircase

Other general information about Escher

Images of Mathematics


Escher Tessellations


 Origami Tessellations




Try one of Bryan’s puzzles at http://euler.slu.edu/~clair/puzzlers.html.

Please note *

*This work © 2006-11 Anneke Bart and Bryan Clair. Others may use these materials in the classroom without asking for permission. If materials are used in the classroom or for other educational purposes, we would appreciate a link to our page from your website.

Many images in this work are free of copyright and are available at Wikimedia Commons. The image page for these images will contain the appropriate link.

All M.C. Escher works © Cordon Art BV - Baarn - the Netherlands. All M.C. Escher works (c) 2007 The M.C. Escher Company - the Netherlands. All rights reserved. Used by permission. www.mcescher.com


[Session 6] [Outline] [Session 8]