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Chaim Goodman-Strauss assembling sculpture at Gathering 4 Gardner, Atlanta, GA, 2008.

Chaim Goodman-Strauss (born June 22,1967 in Austin TX) is an American mathematician who works in convex geometry, especially aperiodic tiling. He is on the faculty of the University of Arkansas and is a co-author with John H. Conway of The Symmetries of Things, a comprehensive book surveying the mathematical theory of patterns.[1]

Education and careerEdit

Goodman-Strauss received both his B.S. (1988) and Ph.D. (1994) in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin.[2] His doctoral advisor was John Edwin Luecke.[3] He joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (UA) in 1994 and served as departmental chair from 2008 to 2015. He held visiting positions at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and at Princeton University.[2][4]

During 1995 he did research at The Geometry Center, a mathematics research and education center at the University of Minnesota, where he investigated aperiodic tilings of the plane.[5]

Goodman-Strauss has been fascinated by patterns and mathematical paradoxes for as long as he can remember. He attended a lecture about the mathematician Georg Cantor when he was 17 and says, "I was already doomed to be a mathematician, but that lecture sealed my fate."[6] He became a mathematics writer and popularizer. From 2004 to 2012, in conjunction with KUAF 91.3 FM, the University of Arkansas NPR affiliate, he presented ”The Math Factor", a podcast website dealing with recreational mathematics.[7] He is an admirer of Martin Gardner and is on the Math & Science Advisory Council of Gathering 4 Gardner, an organization that celebrates the legacy of the famed mathematics popularizer and Scientific American columnist,[8] and is particularly active in the associated Celebration of Mind events.[9][10]

Mathematical artistEdit

In 2008 Goodman-Strauss teamed up with J. H. Conway and Heidi Burgiel to write The Symmetries of Things, an exhaustive and reader accessible overview of the mathematical theory of patterns. He produced hundreds of full-color images for this book using software that he developed for the purpose.[11] The Mathematical Association of America said, "The first thing one notices when one picks up a copy … is that it is a beautiful book … filled with gorgeous color pictures … many of which were generated by Goodman-Strauss. Unlike some books which add in illustrations to keep the reader's attention, the pictures are genuinely essential to the topic of this book."[12]

He also creates large-scale sculptures inspired by mathematics, and some of these have been featured at Gathering 4 Gardner conferences.[13]


  • 2008 The symmetries of things (with by John H. Conway and Heidi Burgiel). A. K. Peters, Wellesley, MA, 2008, ISBN 1568812205



  1. ^ Review of The symmetries of things, by Phil Wilson, Plus Magazine, December 1, 2008: "The book presents a whole new way of looking at patterns. The methods have been worked out so exhaustively, and the trails opened up in the book have been followed so extensively, that you almost can't believe that such a huge body of knowledge could have lain dormant for so long!"
  2. ^ a b Chaim Goodman-Strauss The College Board
  3. ^ "Chaim Goodman-Strauss - The Mathematics Genealogy Project". Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  4. ^ Gathering for Gardner Celebration of Mind Presenter
  5. ^ Chaim Goodman-Strauss: Activities at the Geometry Center University Of Minnesota
  6. ^ The Shape of Everyday Things by Melissa Lutz Blouin. Research News, Spring 2005
  7. ^ The Math Factor Podcast Website July 24, 2012
  8. ^ About The G4G Foundation Gathering 4 Gardner
  9. ^ Presenter: Chaim Goodman-Strauss Celebration of Mind
  10. ^ Doubly Marked Robinson Tiles Celebration of Mind
  11. ^ Chaim Goodman-Strauss :: Symmetries AMS: Mathematical Imagery
  12. ^ Review of The symmetries of things, by Darren Glass, The Mathematical Association of America, July 10, 2008
  13. ^ The Math Factor Podcast Website Pictures from the Gathering

External linksEdit