The Beauty We Can Find In Complex Math

in #stem2 years ago

What was the most useful class that you took back in school? There are likely various classes that you took which contained vast amounts of information that you were told to memorize, which today brings you absolutely no value.

But that isn't the case for every class.

When asked about which class might have been the most valuable, common answers you get are math, English, and science.

Many students wish that they had paid more attention in those classes, math especially.

It might not have been a favorite of many at the time but later on there are many who can admit that they now see the value that it brings. The same cannot probably be said likely for the Common Core variety however, which to many parents and their children today, just simply makes no sense.

For some students, math is their favorite subject. But even if that were not the case, and still isn't, many of us can appreciate and see beauty in complex math.

Researchers have previously discovered that ordinary people see beauty in complex mathematical arguments in much the same way that we might enjoy and see beauty in a magnificent landscape, or enjoy a good jazz composition etc, we can similarly see beauty in math.

To conduct their study, researchers selected 4 mathematical proof, 4 landscape paintings, 4 classical music pieces, and none of the participants were mathematicians.

  • Participants were asked to match the math proofs to the landscape paintings, they were told to match them based on how aesthetically similar they found them to be.

  • Another group had compared the math proofs to the classic music pieces.

  • A third group had rated the landscape paintings and math proofs against 9 criteria including clarity, novelty, intricacy, elegance, simplicity, sophistication, universality, and more.

They discovered that these ordinary folk had overwhelmingly agreed on how clear and elegant the math proofs were, as well the landscape paintings.

They concluded that there was considerable evidence to suggest that there is great consensus in comparing math proofs against great artworks. As well as some connection between judging the math against a good classical piano piece.

"Laypeople not only had similar intuitions about the beauty of math as they did about the beauty of art but also had similar intuitions about beauty as each other. In other words, there was consensus about what makes something beautiful, regardless of modality," - Dr. S. Johnson

The findings, researchers suggest, might help to make math more accessible to schoolchildren. Ultimately, it might open up opportunities for children to learn more about abstract aspects of mathematics. It is also interesting to know that whether you are good at it or not, like it or not, there is consensus with many seeing a unique beauty to logical, complex mathematical equations.

Pic 1 A Beautiful Mind


An informative article, to be honest, I did not like studying, was a poor student. But math was easy for me ... :)

I was very good at math and liked it a lot but eventually I got tired of it.

Music is actually very mathematically related and organized, as is natural beauty. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the rules governing musical scales and times, and how the plants that form the visual components of landscapes grow, are derived through certain formulae, such as fractals and the Golden Ratio.