The simplicity of complexity: the art of unpuzzling mathematics

  • 31 August 2023

Wednesday 27 September 2023 from 18.00 to 19.00
Lecture held in English
Belval, Maison du Savoir, room 3.500


Prof. Hugo Parlier
Full professor in Mathematics – Analysis
Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine
Department of Mathematics


This talk will be about projects aiming to illustrate geometry and, more generally, the processes of mathematical research through puzzles. The puzzles are played following simple rules on tiled surfaces using ideas stemming from the math of combinations, shapes and space. In the background, associated to each puzzle is a “puzzle space”: it is the network you travel in while playing the puzzle. These spaces can be visualized, studied, and have all sorts of interesting properties.

From simple, to difficult, to potentially impossible, these puzzles allow you to experience the birth of mathematical complexity.

The Quadratis puzzles were created and brought to life with Paul Turner, Mario Gutiérrez and Reyna Juárez (see

The Involution and Revolution puzzles were created together with with Bruno Teheux.


18.00 – Lecture
18.45 – Q&A
19.00 – Networking cocktail