Mount Mary math professor in need of 50,000 business cards

A math professor at Mount Mary College needs 50,000 business cards to help Wisconsin middle school and high school students complete the Wisconsin Menger Sponge Project.

The professor, Dr. Roxanne Back, started the collegiate-level project to engage students in math and build on their critical thinking skills.

A Menger sponge is a geometric object first completed by mathematician Karl Menger in 1926.

The Menger sponge project consists of cubes. Each cube requires six business cards. Individual cubes are then combined to form Level 1 and Level 2 Menger sponges. Wisconsin high school students will create a Level 3 Menger sponge using Level 1 and Level 2 sponges. The Level 3 Menger sponge will be on display at the annual Wisconsin Mathematics Council conference in Green Lake, Wis. May 2-3.

According to Back, the project exposes students to math concepts like logarithms, surface area, volume, counting techniques, scale factors, measurement, limits, fractals and modeling.   

“I launched this because it’s a math challenge that’s interesting and exciting, Back said. “And, to my knowledge, this has never been completed by high school students.”

Wisconsin students will join an elite group of builders, Back said. A Level 3 was constructed by a member of the MIT origami club, Florida State University students, and fractal artist and web developer Nicholas Rougeux.

In facilitating the project, Back has videos, worksheets and PowerPoints with directions to create the cubes and suggestions about ways teachers can implement the project into their math curriculum.

Teachers interested in participating in the project can contact Back at or 414-258-4810 ext. 418 for more information.

Business cards can be mailed to: Roxanne Back, Menger Sponge Project, Mount Mary College, 2900 N. Menomonee River Parkway, Milwaukee, WI, 53222.

For more information on the Wisconsin Menger Sponge Project, visit To watch a video of students working on the math project, visit

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