Looking Mathematically at English Decorated Window Tracery

IMA_CMYK_logo East Midlands Branch



An illustrated talk by

Hugh Williams

Wednesday 14th October 2015

at 7.30 pm

EMMTEC Lecture Theatre, Brayford Pool Campus, University of Lincoln

Eventbrite - IMA lecture - Looking Mathematically at English Decorated Window Tracery

The tracery (stonework) of mediaeval Decorated windows (c. 1250 – 1350) may not seem an obvious area for mathematical exploration but the speaker has been doing that on and off for over 20 years and will share some of his discoveries in this illustrated lecture. The topics will include:


  • The names that are used today for styles (e.g.
    Geometric, Intersecting and Reticulated) are 19th century
    inventions and not well defined.
  • Classification rules using only visual properties, not
    metric ones, will be introduced and how they lead to an
    understanding of the geometry needed for construction and
    constraints of the architects.
  • Qualitatively it appeared likely that in some windows
    of the Flowing style what appear at first sight to be simple
    circular arcs must change radius at some point. The advent
    of digital cameras and simple programming has sorted this
    and other interesting results discovered.

No charge is made to attend meetings, non-IMA members are welcome.

Local contact for this talk is Prof Andrei Zvelindovsky, School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Lincoln.
The talk is coordinated by East Midlands Branch IMA Secretary, Dr Stephen Hibberd, School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham, email: stephen.hibberd [at] nottingham.ac.uk.
Web details of East Midlands events: http://ima.org.uk/activities/branches/east_midlands.cfm

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© School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS, United Kingdom
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