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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Beauty in Numbers, and the Numbers in Beauty | Neuroscience, brain science - Psychology Today

Oscar Fernandez, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics at Wellesley College and the Faculty Director of the College’s Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching Center explains, How mathematics helps us explain beauty.

Fibonacci number.
The golden rectangle (left) and golden spiral (right).
Source: Wikipedia: Fibonacci number

You’ve no doubt heard the phrase "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." What if the beholder is a mathematician? How do these creatures see beauty differently than others? Are there patterns to beauty? And if so, are they mathematical patterns?

Let me whisk you away on a short adventure that answers these questions and leaves you, at its conclusion, seeing beauty as some mathematicians do...

While there are many exceptions to the math-beauty connection I've highlighted, as I hope you now better appreciate, mathematics and beauty are often interlinked, and I hope this article has given you a new lens with which to view your surroundings and find the hidden beauty in it.

Indeed, the next time you see something beautiful I encourage you to ask, "Why do I find this beautiful?" You'll be starting to think like a mathematician—whose fundamental drive is to find and explain patterns—and I'm willing to bet the answer to your question will involve some beautiful mathematics.

Source: Psychology Today