Bridges 2011 Workshop Paper

Pieces of Pi? Polyhedra, Orthoschemes and Dihedral Kaleidoscopes
Curtis Palmer
(Proceedings pages 625–628)


Studying polyhedral forms is essential for mathematicians, architects, scientists, biologists, even artists, and for children it can be a lot of creative fun. This workshop will show that dihedral kaleidoscopes are useful tools for teaching mathematical concepts to a range of age groups. Workshop participants will experience creating a paper orthoscheme (also called: simplex, plug, quantum of shape, symmetry unit) and discover that polyhedra can be understood as products of kaleidoscopic reflections and rotations of such a simplex, see Coxeter [3]. The workshop will conclude with the collective creation of a paper polyhedra out of individualized, i.e. decorated simplexes. This transient sculpture will serve as visceral proof of the polyhedral consequences of symmetry operations.