Arabesque: Where Art Meets Mathematics

Arabesque: Where Art Meets Mathematics
Arabic-English Subtitles


Dr. Jawad Abuhlail
Associate Professor (Algebra)
Department of Mathematics and Statistics,
King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM)
Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Palestine Journal of Mathematics
Managing Editor, Arabian Journal of Mathematics

*This video was sponsored by Saudi Aramco and produced by Sultan Bin Abdel Aziz Science & Technology Center

Lesson Feedback


The main objective of this lesson is to illustrate an important application of mathematics in practical life -- namely in art. Most of the pictures selected for this lesson are visible on the walls of Al-Hambra – Granada (Spain), which is one of the most important landmarks in the Islamic civilization. There are three educational goals for this lesson: (1) establishing the concept of isometries; (2) giving real-life examples of groups; (3) demonstrating the importance of matrices and their applications. As background for this lesson, students just need some familiarity with the concept of a group and a limited knowledge about matrices and the inverse of a non-singular matrix.

Instructor Biography

Dr. Abuhlail is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He is from Palestine and his major area of study and teaching is Algebra. Dr. Abuhlail's interests include applications of mathematics in the real world, eLearning, the History of Mathematics, and Math Olympiads (regional and international). Dr. Abuhlail is also the Associate Managing Editor of AJS-Mathematics, a section of the Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering (AJSE).

Additional Online Resources

17 Wallpaper Groups: Exercise
This site has been recommended by Dr. Abuhlail as a source for more exercises like those provided in his lesson.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Illuminations
This site, presented by Illuminations: Resources for Teaching Math, provides a lesson in which students can explore regular and semi-regular tessellations.