Prerequisite: This course is open only to students in VCU's School of the Arts
This is a course about tessellations, or patterns on plane surfaces. Tessellations have appeared in art, architecture, ornamentation and craft throughout recorded history. We will examine mathematical characterizations of various types of tessellations, and you will create your own examples. The main purpose of this course is to heighten your awareness of symmetry, and to increase your appreciation for its uses in the visual arts. Your grade is determined by homework, a final project and attendance/engagement. Details follow.
Assignments: There will be 5 assignments. They are due at the beginning of class on appointed days. Work that appears to have been created hastily and without thought will be graded accordingly. If you must miss class on day an assignment is due, please give me your work early or have a classmate turn it in for you. You may also submit work via email as a scanned copy or photo, but it must bear a timestamp showing that it was received by the beginning of class on the day it is due. I tend not to print emailed homework assignments, and therefore they may not receive any written feedback from me.
Project: Create an art object that uses some of the ideas discussed in this class. You may use any reasonable media. Everyone will present their work in a critique during the last day of class. Project guidelines can be found on the course web page.
Attendance/engagement: You are expected to attend and be intellectually engaged in each class. You can earn a total of 20 points for Attendance/engagement. If you have only one absence, it will not be counted against you. Beyond that, each absence results in 5 points deducted from the 20 points. Under normal circumstances I do not make the distinction between excused and unexcused absences. Any kind of absence may potentially affect your grade. Being in class physically but tuned out mentally can count as an absence! If you appear to be asleep, I will consider you as absent. Other things that could cause you to lose participation points include leaving your cell phone on, texting in class, and other rude behaviors. (Not that I expect you would do any of these things!)
As a matter of courtesy, you should arrive punctually and stay for the entire duration of each class you attend. Please inform me ahead of time if you must leave early.
At the beginning of class I will take attendance by circulating a sign-up sheet. If you arrive after this happens, it will be counted as an absence. Signing the sheet for someone else is considered an honor violation.
Late Work: If you turn in an assignment late, then I will take it but I will not grade it immediately. At the end of the course I will evaluate late work, though it may earn no more than half credit.
Note: All work submitted for a grade in this course should be yours and yours alone. Exceptions are made for cases in which you use another designer's work in a creative or constructive way, leading to a wholly new artwork. If you do use another artist's work, you must clearly state your sources if they are not obvious through context. Anything else is considered plagiarism and it will be dealt with according to university policy. General Rule of Thumb: If it feels wrong, it probably is.
Internet: Information about this course is posted on my web page (not on Blackboard). Go to http://www.people.vcu.edu/~rhammack/ and click on "Fall 2013 Schedule, and then on "Math 122." There you will find the syllabus, project details, a calendar and assignment due dates.
Email: Any email correspondence concerning this course should be through your official VCU email address. University policy prevents me from discussing many aspects of the course through other email addresses. I may send email messages either to the whole class or individuals in the class. It is your responsibility to check your VCU email regularly.
Cell Phones: Please be sure that all cell phones and other electronic devices (including iPods, BlackBerries and laptops) are turned off for the entire duration of each class. Leaving such devices on may lower your participation score.
Office: Please feel free to stop by my office whenever you have a question, or if you just want to chat. If my posted hours are inconvenient, I will be happy to schedule an appointment. Tell me if you are having trouble. Catching up can be difficult if you get behind, so let me know as soon as you think there is a problem.
The following information is required on all VCU syllabi:
VCU Honor System: All VCU students are presumed upon enrollment to have acquainted themselves with and have an understanding of the Honor System. Therefore, it is a student's responsibility to ask course instructors to clarify expectations for each assignment in order to be in compliance with the Honor System. The 2007 - 8 VCU Honor System policy statement and purpose is located at http://www.provost.vcu.edu/pdfs/Honor_system_policy.pdf
Classroom Conduct: Professional conduct will be expected at all times. A description of the VCU Student Conduct in Instructional Settings Policy can be found at: http://www.ts.vcu.edu/policies/studentconduct.htmlVCU Statement on Safety You can sign up to receive VCU text messaging alerts (http://www.vcu.edu/alert/notify). Keep your information up-to-date. Know the safe evacuation route from each of your classrooms. Emergency evacuation routes are posted in on campus classrooms. Listen for and follow instructions from VCU or other designated authorities. Know where to go for additional emergency information (http://www.vcu.edu/alert). Know the emergency phone number for the VCU Police (828-1234). Report suspicious activities and objects. University Counseling Services: http://www.students.vcu.edu/counseling/