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Journal of No. 118


October 28th, 2014

Beautiful Geometry, by Maor and Jost @ 05:23 pm

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A handsome book that mixes art and math. Maor is a historian of mathematics, and Jost is an artist. Together, they fight crime. Er, no. Together, they explain and illustrate a number of geometric (and broader mathematical) ideas. These kind of math/art mashups tend to be kind of lame, but this book has a pretty good batting average of art that does a good job of communicating or exhibiting mathematical ideas. Many familiar faces, from Euclid to Fibonacci to Sierpinski. But also a number of new things to me. Like Steiner's Porism, which would take me too long in words to describe, so I will leave an enigmatic GIF:



And one different way of looking at things. We all know(?) that the stars on the US flag are arranged in alternating rows of six and five. 6 + 5 + 6 + 5 + 6 + 5 + 6 + 5 + 6 = 50.

But if you look at the field at a 45 degree angle, you can see it as a sorta triangle of the odd numbers 1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9 = 25 (*) stars, sitting on top of the same thing flopped over.



(Teaser PDF with a few chapters.)


(* note in passing -- the sum of the first N odd numbers is N^2.)
 
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From:freudinshade
Date:October 29th, 2014 03:58 am (UTC)
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Is it written at a level that LB could grok? He's able to handle pretty sophisticated concepts in math if they're laid out well for him.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:October 29th, 2014 04:15 am (UTC)
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It's certainly not written at a mega-high math level, but having taken high school geometry (or being exposed to Euclidean style geometry proofs) would be a big help, I think.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:October 29th, 2014 02:08 pm (UTC)
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You're welcome to borrow it if we see you Friday.
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From:freudinshade
Date:October 30th, 2014 01:36 am (UTC)
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Sounds good. We haven't figured out our schedule but we're planning to come for at least part of the evening.

Journal of No. 118