Escher’s World

In Escher’s World, middle school students become graphic artists who create exhibits of mathematical art in the style of M. C. Escher. Each design task begins with a design goal, and students learn how others designers addressed similar challenges. For example, the task in one of the early levels of the game is to make a straight-edged design using only curved lines. Based on an architectural design studio, the game helps students learn to think about geometry and graphic art like designers.

You can learn more about Escher’s World in How Computer Games Help Children Learn.

Further Reading

Cossentino, J. & Shaffer, D.W. (1999). The math studio: Harnessing the power of the arts to teach across disciplines. Journal of Aesthetic Education 33(2): 99-109.

Shaffer, D.W. (1997). Learning mathematics through design: The anatomy of Escher’s World. Journal of Mathematical Behavior 16(2): 95-112.

Shaffer, D.W. Escher’s world: Learning symmetry through mathematics and art. Symmetry: Culture and Science 8(3-4): 369-393.

Shaffer, D.W. (1997). Design, collaboration, and computation: The design studio as a model for computer-supported collaboration in mathematics. Paper presented at the Computer Support for Collaborative Learning Conference. Toronto, ON.

Shaffer, D.W. (1996). Escher’s World: Learning mathematics through design in a digital studio. (Unpublished masters thesis). Massachusetts Institute of technology, Cambridge, MA.

UW UW NSF This work was funded in part by the National Science Foundation (DRL-0918409, DRL-0946372, DRL-1247262, DRL-1418288, DRL-1661036, DRL-1713110, DUE-0919347, DUE-1225885, EEC-1232656, EEC-1340402, REC-0347000), the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The opinions, findings, and conclusions do not reflect the views of the funding agencies, cooperating institutions, or other individuals.