Enter the maze

COMPETITION: Programming Escher Art in GeomLab

To win this competition you must program a work of art using GeomLab. It is a free, fun system developed by Mike Spivey of the University of Oxford that makes learning how to program fun - you program drawings. Simple pictures come easy but even ones as complicated as Escher's beautiful, thought-provoking art with tessellating lizards and ever-repeating fish are possible.

We have lots of prizes - so give it a go. Even something simple can make great art and could capture the hearts of the judges. And even if you don't win you will have learnt a really useful and creative skill that could set you on the way to a lucrative career: how to program.

GeomLab Escher Fish

Don't have a clue how to start? That's not a problem. Go to the Oxford University's GeomLab site. Download the GeomLab program. You can then work through Mike Spivey's series of step-by-step help sheets that take you from programming simple pictures with repeated shapes all the way to the full complexity of your own Escher style recursive drawing. Your drawing could have an Escher like feel or could be completely different. For example you can also use Geomlab to draw fractal images. See our Bond story for an example of how to do it. Use your imagination!

By the time you have done you will have learnt a mathematically pure kind of computer programming called functional programming. You will also have an idea of the issues in laying out the elements of web pages. Best of all you will have learnt how to create your own mathematically beautiful art by writing mathematically beautiful programs.

You will need to be able to send us the sequence of GeomLab commands that created your picture, so remember to keep a record of them separately as a text file.


We have iPod nanos donated by ARM for the best (in the opinion of the judges) original drawing created within GeomLab. We also have book voucher prizes of £ 100 donated by Intel as well as a range of other small prizes for runners-up. The school nominated by the winner will also get voucher prizes.

Rules and Entry Form

First read the rules and then submit your entry using the official form.

The closing date for the competition is the end of the day on Sunday March 18, 2007 (the end of UK Science Week).

GeomLab was created with support from NAGTY.

Go to the GeomLab Site