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Mario Livio on the Art, Science, and Inspiration of tilings. Tilings present a delightfully difficult mathematical puzzle, and their solutions are some of the most architecturally stunning designs out there. Among those solutions are Penrose tiles: two shapes of tiles that can be used to fill an entire surface while maintaining the 5-fold symmetry of pentagons which, alone, can never fill a surface. It turns out that Penrose tiles can be found in nature, too, in 5-fold structures known as quasicrystals. How I love when art and math spill over into nature, and vice versa. However, that M.C. Escher only received one mention in this piece is slap-on-the-wrist worthy. Consider yourself reprimanded, Mario.

If you’d like to give him a slap on the wrist yourself, he’ll be at the MET on May 31st. Another great event I’ll be missing.

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