The Illustrating Math Virtual Seminar meets the second Friday of each month. Talks cover a wide range of topics related to successes and challenges of mathematical illustration, from cutting edge theoretical research to explorations of intersections between mathematics and the arts. The seminar showcases innovative ways to communicate and explore deep mathematical ideas.

The monthly seminar is held on Zoom. Each meeting opens with two five-minute ‘show and ask’ style presentations (volunteer here to give one), which are followed by the main feature, a 40 minute invited colloquium talk. Immediately afterwards, participants (and speakers) are invited to gather informally on the illustrating math discord server for further social interaction.

The Zoom room for the seminar is :


LEGO dragon
LEGO Construction for Mathematical Artists and Artistic Mathematicians
Alexander Holroyd (University of Bristol)

The LEGO system offers possibilities far beyond its core identity as a children’s toy.  In particular it allows for near-instantaneous experimentation with mechanisms, while at the same time allowing for sophisticated and beautiful constructions that demonstrate physical and mathematical principles.  I will demonstrate this by presenting some old and new inventions and discoveries (as well as a few mysteries) involving linkages, unusual gearing, mechanical computation, recursion and more.  I will also discuss practicalities of getting started with the medium as well as some of its limitations.


LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this content.


Yale Peabody Museum - YPM-BC-021354
Illustrating Geometry (and Topology)
Saul Schleimer (University of Warwick)

According to Poincaré, "geometry is the art of reasoning well from badly drawn figures" [1895].  In this talk I will give an informal discussion of some famous attempts to draw mathematical figures: some more, and some less, badly drawn.  I will finish by discussing some of my own work (with Henry Segerman) in this direction, attempting to use computer graphics, interactive web apps, and 3D printing to illustrate mathematics.

A recording of the talk is available here: