Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Sam Nelson

Reader 2

Winston Ou

Rights Information

© 2016 Kathryn A. Knapp


This thesis examines the intersection of math and art by focusing on three specific branches of math: the fourth dimension, non-Euclidean geometry, and chaos and fractals. Different genres of art interact with each of these branches of math. The influence of the fourth dimension can easily be seen in Cubism and Russian Constructivism. Non-Euclidean geometry guided some of M.C. Escher’s work, and it inspired the Crochet Coral Reef project. Chaos and fractals can be found in art and architecture throughout history, but Vincent van Gogh and Jackson Pollock are notable examples of artists who used chaos in their work. Some artists incorporate math into their work in a rigorous, exacting manner, while others take inspiration from a general concept and provide a more abstract interpretation. Regardless of mathematical accuracy, mathematically inspired art can provide a greater understanding of mathematical concepts.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.