I am always on the lookout for things related to mathematics, whether I find it in one of my interests or simply walking down the street. Nowadays it's wonderful to see math in our lives in so many places. It's in TV ads, on billboards, on public transportation, and especially in the movies. One doesn't have to look too deeply to find its connection to the foods we eat, the music we hear, the art we see. I never made a conscious decision to go for a hike and see what math ideas I might run into.
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But I know they're there, and I always keep an open mind. Everywhere I look I see a math connection. Sometimes something is right in front of our noses yet we don't see it. I like to write about the math I see, whether it's in mundane and familiar territory or in the complex and abstract. It's all exciting, but people are more likely to explore and read about mathematics in familiar realms.
I have always loved music and have enjoyed trying to play various instruments, from the violin as a child to trying any instrument I could lay my hands on. What better nonthreatening area to introduce mathematics than in the music and sounds that touch our lives? I loved researching the math of music and introducing my students and readers to what I had the joy of discovering. I found the music in math and math in music. Art like music is an area in which most people are comfortable and willing to explore. Which of us did not delve into art as children with finger painting and crayons? We never suspected to find math there, but it is and that's what makes it a tantalizing area to write about.
Granted, many artists may not create their works using math, but somehow it can be found in their works. Regardless, whether an artist intentionally uses mathematics in their art, such as Leonardo di Vinci or Sol de Witt, or does not give it a thought, I strongly feel it inherently exists in art. I personally chose the media of watercolor because of how water reeks chaos with paint and art emerges. I love to garden. Gardening is kind of a Zen experience. My mind often wanders as I'm digging or weeding, and it was during one of these times that I wrote the adult story about a gardener who is oblivious of the mathematical ideas growing in her yard.
For me mathematics is more than a set of tools, it's a world onto itself, and I love to introduce people to its many areas. My main goal in my math books is that I want people to realize you don't have to be a math enthusiast to be excited by math ideas. All my activities have opened up areas in which to examine math and to communicate how I feel about it. I hope my work invites people to join me on mathematical journeys. Seitz: Your writings include a wide variety of topics and problems across a spectrum of mathematics.
What advice would you give a young teacher on how to acquire and develop a rich repertoire of mathematical ideas? Pappas: I would encourage every teacher to follow his or her instincts and passions. If they follow what they enjoy learning, their enthusiasm will shine through to their students. I would have never written the books and produced math products if I was concerned about what would be considered acceptable or conforming.
Keep current on evolving math ideas. It was not long ago that most people had no idea what a fractal was or what the butterfly effect was all about. Work in conjunction with students.
Let students be your scouts. They will love it and discover the art of exploring and researching. Challenge yourself and your students to look beyond your comfort zones. Delve into areas you may have never heard of or lack background in. When I started teaching math, I had no idea that my passion for math would lead me to where I am today. I have been fortunate to be able to pursue the dream of helping to change the image of mathematics from one that was all too often considered cold, sterile, and elitist to one that is exciting, fascinating, and connected to so many things in our world.
Now more than ever math is achieving a new status.
A science book a day keeps boredom away!
The digital age and so many other mathematical and scientific discoveries have helped elevate the importance of the role of mathematics in our lives. I have tried to write books that point to where mathematics is, has been, and where it's going to lead us. Math is in the mundane, the complex, and in the real and abstract worlds. I encourage you to seek it everywhere. At the top of my list are non-Euclidean geometries. I especially like to explore the histories of their evolutions. The story of how trying to see whether Euclid's parallel fifth postulate is actually a postulate and how this quest led to uncovering non-Euclidean geometries.
The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat by Theoni Pappas
Among the many stories studied, I found the one about how Saccheri's doubt in his own work delayed the discovery of hyperbolic geometry by nearly a century poignant. Another area I like to explore is the role problems played in the development of new math ideas. How unsolved problems of mathematics challenge and lead mathematicians on many journeys and to new math ideas. I like learning about their successes and failures and periodically looking into the progress of various problem lists, such as the Millennium Prize problems or David Hilbert's list of twenty-three problems.
I am intrigued by types of numbers that have evolved and continue to evolve over the ages. For example, the Feigenbaum constants and its connection to chaos theory. How imaginary numbers and quaternions emerged and now influence digital graphics. Join the discussion on FB. Subscribe via email Subscribe to Saffron Tree by Email.
Disclaimer The contents of the posts and comments expressed here belong to individuals who write them. Contact Us at saffrontree gmail. Awards and Accolades. As I have said earlier, math can be fun. Puzzles, games and stories are some ways in which we can indulge in mathematical adventures. Stories, especially work very well with children.
And more so if they are stories of a mathematical cat! A mathematical cat? What's that? Penrose is a mathematically gifted cat, who belongs to Theoni Pappas, the author of the stories. She then wrote down all of Penrose's stories for children- these stories tackle one concept at a time, and can be read as stand-alone stories, too.
The books take into consideration the youngest possible reader, and the harried parent, who would much appreciate these handy stories to delve into the breathtakingly beautiful, yet sometimes alarming world of math. He runs to play with them, and is amazed with the perfect sphere shapes, that magically change shapes as they coalesce. That if you draw a plane through this cluster, they will look like a cut-section of a honeycomb.
They could be the same figure or different figures. Nature creates many beautiful designs using this concept. Designs that are often copied by man in the arts. Seller Inventory AA More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Condition: New.
The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat by Theoni Pappas 9781884550140
Brand New. Seller Inventory Book Description Wide World Publishing. Seller Inventory ZZN. Paperback or Softback. The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat. Seller Inventory BBS Book Description Wide World Publishing, Never used!. Seller Inventory BZE Theoni Pappas. Publisher: Wide World Publishing , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.
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