Anamorphic Art - Mathematics behind the illusions

September 23, 2019
Distorted image of the Earth shows corrected when reflected on a cylindrical mirror.

This past Saturday, the Department of Mathematics received a group of female high school students to learn about using math to create anamorphic art. The workshop was organized by the Department's outreach group, Buckeye Aha! Math Moments, and taught by Anna Davis, Ph.D., from Ohio Dominican University.Drawing of a cube appears like floating thanks to an anamorphic effect.

The word anamorphosis refers to a distorted projection or drawing which appears normal when viewed from a particular point or with a suitable mirror or lens. Anamorphosis has become increasingly popular in art, especially in street art.


Led by Prof. Davis, students drew anamorphic projections aided by a laser and further explored them using GeoGebra. They also wrote functions to create an anamorphic version of a "normal" drawing. Finally, they had time to create their own anamorphic art.

This event is part of a long term project that includes monthly workshops and a summer camp. The project invites young women to experience mathematics through engaging activities in an untraditional environment, and seeks to attract women to pursue careers in math. Next workshop will be on October 12.

Anamorphic O reflected on cylindrical mirror