Marjorie Rice

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Marjorie Rice (née Jeuck, February 16, 1923 – July 2, 2017)[1] was an American amateur mathematician most famous for her discoveries in geometry.[2] Rice was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, and died in California, where she lived with her son and daughter-in-law.


In December 1975, Rice came across a Scientific American article on tessellations. Despite having only a high-school education, she began devoting her free time to discovering new pentagonal tilings, ways to tile the plane using pentagons. She developed her own system of notation to represent the constraints on and relationships between the sides and angles of the polygons and used it to discover four new types of tessellating pentagons and over sixty distinct tessellations by pentagons by 1977.[2] Rice's work was eventually examined by mathematics professor Doris Schattschneider, who deciphered the unusual notation and formally announced her discoveries to the mathematics community.[2] Schattschneider has lauded Rice's work as an exciting discovery by an amateur mathematician.[3]

Representative tilings of the four tiling pentagons discovered by Marjorie Rice
Type 9 Type 11 Type 12 Type 13
P5-type9-chiral coloring.png P5-type11 chiral coloring.png P5-type12-chiral coloring.png P5-type13-chiral coloring.png
Prototile p5-type9.png
b = c = d = e
2A + C = D + 2E = 360°
Prototile p5-type11.png
2a + c = d = e
A = 90°, 2B + C = 360°
C + E = 180°
Prototile p5-type12.png
2a = d = c + e
A = 90°, 2B + C = 360°
C + E = 180°
Prototile p5-type13.png
d = 2a = 2e
B = E = 90°, 2A + D = 360°

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wolchover, Natalie (July 11, 2017), "Marjorie Rice's Secret Pentagons", Quanta Magazine 
  2. ^ a b c Perplexing Pentagons Archived 2016-08-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Doris Schattschneider. "In praise of amateurs." In David A. Klarner, editor, The Mathematical Gardner, pages 140–166. Prindle, Weber & Schmidt, Boston, 1981

External links[edit]