Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Creativity in unexpected directions

Creativity comes in many forms, but some come from what we tend to think of as dry subjects. Someone who can make math fun and interesting is a real treasure.

Okay, I confess: I've never been good at math, never liked it, never 'got' it. But here's someone who obviously gets it on a deep instinctive level and loves to make it fun so others can get it too:
Infinity Elephants
(Please forgive the linkages rather than embedded video; sometimes Blogger just doesn't cooperate with embedding videos, so links will have to do for now.)
There are a lot of other fun videos that Vi has made over on her blog. Take a little break and go see some of them. It's even educational so you don't have to feel guilty about it.

Vi Hart is a musician as well as a mathematician. She's composed a Septet of seven movements, seven voices based on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. She writes musical pieces based an geometric forms, showing the intimate relationship between music and mathematics. She's played with ways to cut fruit into mathematical forms. She's made musical instruments out of paper (and burned them). She's made music boxes with a mathematical flair and then plays several together to show how Pachelbel's Canon is constructed.

So much creative thinking in so many directions from one person. It's really pretty boggling to think about. Ms. Hart comes from a creative family; her dad is George Hart, a mathematical professor who's now heading up the Museum of Mathematics.Here's hoping she can achieve her stated goal: to make math fun.

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