Susan Goldstine

Professor of Mathematics

Susan Goldstine in front of foliage


Susan Goldstine received her A.B. in Mathematics and French from Amherst College and her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Harvard University. For over a decade, her artworks have appeared in mathematical art exhibits across the US and around the world.  Her art and research center around handcrafts, particularly knitting, crochet, and beadwork, and their connections to various mathematical fields, including abstract algebra, combinatorics, and topology. The 2014 book Crafting Conundrums: Puzzles and Patterns for the Bead Crochet Artist, which she cowrote with computer scientist and artist Dr. Ellie Baker, collects their extensive research on the mathematics of bead crochet. 

Susan is Professor of Mathematics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she has been on the faculty since 2004, a member of the Bridges Organization Board of Directors, co-organizer of the Bridges Math + Fashion show, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts. Her guiding principle is that a professor’s office can never have too many toys.

Areas of Research Specialization

  • Mathematical Fiber Arts
  • Algebraic Dynamics
  • Number Theory


  • B.A. in Mathematics and French at Amherst College, 1993
  • Ph.D. in Mathematics at Harvard University, 1998


  • Crafting Conundrums: Puzzles and Patterns for the Bead Crochet Artist

    "Coming from a mathematical perspective, Baker and Goldstine’s explorations of the challenges and their solutions is engaging and compelling for those interested in understanding the mechanics of geometric patterning. For those who would rather skip the analysis and make something beautiful, the nearly 100 bracelet patterns offer a wide range of styles to create. If you’re new to bead crochet, the thorough step-by-step guide will get you going. If you are at all interested in bead crochet, this book is a must."
    Bead and Button, February 2016

    "The mathematics presented in Crafting Conundrums is broad and deep, enriched by its application to bead crochet. The pattern design techniques presented are powerful, effective, and clearly explained. Crafting Conundrums is an excellent resource for anyone interested in bead crochet or applications of mathematics in the arts."
    Association for Women in Mathematics Newsletter, September–October 2015

    Front cover of Crafting Conundrums, featuring a sunflower atop a stack of beaded bracelets.
  • A Mathematical Analysis of Mosaic Knitting: Constraints, Combinatorics, and Color-Swapping Symmetries

    Susan Goldstine and Carolyn Yackel, Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, 2022.



    Mosaic knitting is a method of two-colour knitting that has become popular in recent decades. Our analysis begins with the mathematical rules that govern stitch patterns in mosaic knitting. Through this characterization, we find the total number of mosaic patterns possible in a given size of fabric and bound the number of patterns that are practical to knit. We proceed to a classification of the symmetry types that are compatible with mosaic designs, including theorems that enumerate which one- and two-colour frieze and wallpaper groups are and are not attainable in mosaic knitting. Our discussion includes practical information for knitwear designers and a multitude of sample patterns.

    Graphical Abstract for A Mathematical Analysis of Mosaic Knitting: a collection of square-grid diagrams in black, white, and red, and photographs of yellow and black knitted fabric.