The Broken Heart Tangram

February 14th, 2008 | Categories: games, general math, mathematica, Wolfram Demonstrations | Tags:

I imagine that most of the people reading this will know what the Tangram puzzle is but just in case you are not one of them here is a quick excerpt from the Wikipedia page which says it all:

“Tangram (Chinese: 七巧板; pinyin: qī qiǎo bǎn; literally “seven boards of skill”) is a dissection puzzle. It consists of seven pieces, called tans, which fit together to form a shape of some sort. The objective is to form a specific shape with seven pieces. The shape has to contain all the pieces, which may not overlap. ”

The classical Tangram puzzle looks like this:


It is possible to make many shapes from these pieces; some of which are below (taken from

Tangram shapes

If you would like to have a go at making your own Tangram shapes then you can make your own Tangram set out of paper, buy a nice wooden one, try this java applet or use this Mathematica demonstration (written by Enrique Zeleny) using the free Mathplayer from Wolfram Research. There is even a Tangram game for the Nintendo DS!

In the week leading up to Valentine’s day I wondered if there is a standard variation of the classical Tangram puzzle that is constructed from a heart shape and I was delighted to discover that there is. Using Enrique’s Mathematica code as a starting point I wrote a demonstration called Broken Heart Tangram and it was published on the Wolfram Demonstrations site today.

heart tangram

I hope you have fun with this demonstration and would love to see some of the shapes that you come up with. As always, comments are welcomed.

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  1. Jessica
    February 14th, 2008 at 04:25
    Reply | Quote | #1

    your Demonstration was featured on the Wolfram Blog today, too!

  2. admin
    February 14th, 2008 at 06:10
    Reply | Quote | #2

    Thanks for that Jessica – I submitted the demos a while ago and they suggested that they wait until today to publish it so they could blog about it at the relevant time. All good fun I think :)

  3. tamara
    March 6th, 2009 at 10:56
    Reply | Quote | #3

    me encanta los dibujos lo que le falta es que en cada dibujo pusiesen las medidas y como hacerlo