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By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics


If you are looking for a giant canvas on which to make mathematical patterns, how about fields of snow? Simon Beck has been stomping out giant patterns for years with just snow shoes. Here are some of his more mathematical examples: a Koch curve, a Sierpinski triangle, and the pattern of overlapping circles that everyone likes to make with a drawing compass.

All you need to make your own is some fresh snow and imagination.

See all of George Hart’s Math Monday columns

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

  • Bob

    A human made these with snow shoes? Nonsense! Impossible! It must’ve been aliens who travelled here across hundreds of light years so they could … uh … play in the snow .. or … uh … cut down wheat fields … or something like that.

  • Al Gore

    Snow? What snow?