Cynthia Lanius

Polyominoes - A Big Word for a Lot of Fun

Introduction

Dominoes

Tetrominoes

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   
   

Have you ever played dominoes? Dominoes use pieces formed of two squares that share a side. Think of putting three squares together where they share a side. Or four squares.

Mathematician Solomon Golomb, in a 1953 talk at the Harvard Mathematics Club defined a whole class of geometric figures like this called polyominoes. Lots of fun mathematics has been done with them since.

Polyominoes are figures formed of congruent squares placed so that the squares share a side. For example, this is not a polyomino because the squares share only a point, not a whole side.

    
    
    
    

Let's look next at other polyominoes.


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Copyright January 1998-2004 Cynthia Lanius

URL http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/Lessons/Polys/poly1.html