The whole concept stemmed from the work of Dr. Ron Eglash, a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Eglash’s work is centered on the idea that indigenous groups incorporate mathematical algorithms into their design work. This can be seen everywhere – transformational geometry in African cornrows, four-fold symmetry in Native American beadwork; there are even elements of rotation and trigonometry in Urban break-dancing.
The crafters of these artifacts may not label their work with math terms simply because they do not recognize it as math. However, the thought processes needed to create the designs are essentially the same as the thought process needed to solve any math problem. Crafters have an innate understanding of the mathematics behind their work; they need it in order to be able to construct their designs well.