What If… Math Was Cool


Ooh, they just found a new pentagon that tiles — only the 15th so far. What does that mean? It means you can “cover a flat surface using only identical copies of the same shape.”

That was a team, with supercomputers. But what if a person could do that on her own?

Yesss, this means it’s time to revisit the site of Marjorie Rice, who, after creating her own mathematical notation, discovered four of these classes of shapes. She also made a new kind of artwork about them.


She was then a woman in her 50s who had never been to college. (Usually described as a “homemaker.”) She is now in her 90s, and lives in California with her (very Christian!) daughter.