Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Having had several opportunities to travel to France, often with groups of students, our trips have usually included a visit to Chartres, especially to visit the magnificent Gothic cathedral that dominates the town. On a recent visit I was again struck by the beauty, majesty and awe that the cathedral inspires. The building not only does a remarkable job of telling Biblical stories and of enclosing a space conducive to worship, it directs one's eyes and one's spirits upward. This is achieved not only by the beautiful stained glass windows and the striking sculptures, but also by the overall design and proportions of the structure. When I returned home I thought it would be interesting to read more about the cathedral. It was then that I discovered that, in at least some authors' minds, mathematics, particularly geometry, had a central role to play in the design and construction of the building. It is this contribution of mathematics that I would like to share in this paper.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.