Press Release. Iowa State University University museums. Brunnier Art Museum Christian Petersen Art Museum Farm House Museum Anderson Sculpture Garden Art on Campus. Image of 0 character with All the Way Home by Julie Chang

New STEAM Publication Features ISU Art to Teach Math

Cover of the book Explore Art on Campus at Iowa State University

AMES, IOWA ­– May 16, 2023 – University Museums at Iowa State University announces the publication of a new multimedia book Explore Art on Campus at Iowa State University by alumnus Dr. Rebecca Klemm (Statistics, Ph.D. ‘76) that uses public art to teach math concepts. Dr. Klemm, also known as The Numbers Lady®, designed this multi-media book with ISU’s University Museums to engage the whole family. Each two-page spread features one or more images of a public work of art viewable on campus at ISU as part of the Art on Campus Collection

Photo of the decoder included in the book Explore Art on Campus at Iowa State University

To captivate readers, this book occasionally needs to be turned sideways, and hidden messages throughout the book are viewable with a special included decoder. The content and concepts extend beyond the printed publication. “I developed the physical book to work in tandem with the NumbersAlive!® Foundation website,” said Dr. Klemm. “Working together, this book and the website will encourage you to discover math embedded in fascinating art, architecture, nature, and ubiquitous signs and posters.”

A champion of STEM and STEAM, NumbersAlive!® founder Dr. Klemm encourages readers to discover math embedded in visual art. She also invites readers to visit the public art featured in this book to experience it in-person. To guide readers, the book begins with a map of ISU’s campus showing the location of each featured work of art.


Photo of Dr. Rebecca Klemm dressed as The Numbers Lady

University Museums will host a free book release program with The Numbers Lady® to celebrate this new publication. On Sunday, July 9, The Numbers Lady® will be in the Anderson Sculpture Garden, 603 Morrill Road, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. interacting with families and signing books. This will also be the first opportunity to purchase Explore Art on Campus at Iowa State University. In the event of rain, the program will take place nearby inside Morrill Hall.

“As part of ISU, the museums typically have an audience college-aged and older,” said Allison Sheridan, publications manager for University Museums. “This book and event give us an opportunity to reach children and families, hopefully bringing them on campus to begin their visual literacy journey.”

The event will have STEM and STEAM activities for students preschool through high school age and beyond. There are opportunities for educators and parents to connect with Dr. Klemm and learn about her unique teaching style.

Explore Art on Campus at Iowa State University: A NumbersAlive!® Multi-Media Family Book by Dr. Rebecca Klemm, The Numbers Lady® will be on sale for $25 at the July 9 program in the Anderson Sculpture Garden. Afterward, the book will be available for purchase at the University Museums office or the Brunnier Art Museum, both on the second floor of the Scheman Building, 1805 Center Drive. The University Museums office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Brunnier Art Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. For an additional shipping fee, purchases may be made over the phone with a credit card by calling the University Museums office at 515-294-3342 during regular business hours.

Click here to download a flyer about the event.


Header: Detail of page from book, 0 with All the Way Home, 2013 by Julie Chang. Photo by Chris Ganon.

Cover of Explore Art on Campus at Iowa State University: A NumbersAlive!® Multi-Media Family Book by Dr. Rebecca Klemm, The Numbers Lady®


Photo of decoder included with the book Explore Art on Campus at Iowa State University


Photo of The Numbers Lady®, Dr. Rebecca Klemm, provided by the author

About University Museums

University Museums is a distinctive organization that encompasses two art museums, a National Historic Landmark historic home museum, a sculpture garden, and one of the largest campus public art collections in the nation. University Museums brings world-class exhibitions with educational programming to Iowa State University, actively acquires works of art to add to the more than 30,000 permanent collection objects, conserves and preserves collections, conducts and publishes curatorial scholarship, and fosters student engagement.

About the Art on Campus Collection

Iowa State University is home to one of the largest campus public art programs in the United States. Over 2,500 public works of art make up the Art on Campus Collection and are located across campus in buildings, courtyards, open spaces, and classrooms. Iowa State’s public art is not required to be beautiful, but it is required to be intellectually relevant to the contemporary campus and utilized in curricula. The Art on Campus Collection and Program, formalized in 1980, includes acquisition, care and maintenance in addition to scholarship and educational programming.

Hours: Indoor works of art are viewable during building hours. Outdoor works of art are viewable all hours every day.

About the Author

Rebecca Klemm, PhD, is a teacher and an avid art collector. She earned her PhD in Statistics from Iowa State University. A lifelong creative visual learner, Dr. Klemm encourages people to discover math using real-world adventures. Discovering patterns and structures in art, history, nature, architecture, and everyday activities respond to learners’ often-asked question, “Why do we study math?”

Dr. Klemm has been an award-winning faculty member in schools from junior high to university. She founded a statistical research firm and served as the first Federal District Court-appointed expert in statistical analysis. She wrote and produced a live musical about numbers and continues to mentor and teach students of all ages.

Dr. Klemm’s ability to speak about math in everyday language provides a solid foundation for STEM and STEAM programs, which translates into success for all future life endeavors.

About NumbersAlive!®

NumbersAlive! logo

NumbersAlive!® is a learning organization presenting engaging math content through physical and digital tools. NumbersAlive!® augments curriculum, alleviates student and parent math anxiety, and increases mathematical thinking by using visual technologies. In 2021, NumbersAlive!® was shortlisted as one of the best global education innovations by HundrED, a Finish-based global mission-driven organization specializing in education innovation.

Media Information

To schedule interviews, photograph events, or request high-resolution images, please contact Alisha Abner at 515.294.3342 or [email protected]

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