n Learning and Teaching Mathematics - A tessellating no-smoking sign

Volume 2010, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 1990-6811


During a recent visit to the Program Graduate Studies in Mathematics Education at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, I observed the interesting no-smoking sign shown below in buildings all over the city. It immediately struck me that one could easily use this picture for a little mathematical investigation by asking students whether they thought this figure would tessellate (tile) or not (and to explain why or why not). It might be a good activity for students to use cardboard cut-outs and/or to model it with dynamic geometry software like Sketchpad, and then to use the built-in transformations to see if they could tile with it.

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