Finding Optimal Paths in Beadworks: What If Euler Were a Beader?

Ron Asherov
Proceedings of Bridges 2013: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2013)
Pages 449–452


Forming geometrical or artistic shapes with beads and nylon strings is a popular handcraft, mainly in the oriental world and mostly for purposes of jewelry or decoration. While many geometrical figures can be made using artistic intuition, such figures often have mathematical features worth exploring; both because they are interesting in and of themselves, and also because comprehending these features will allow the practitioner to produce mathematically interesting, symmetrical and aesthetic works. Using ideas from Graph Theory we set out to use computer programs in order to generate instructions for premade beadwork designs