Fibonacci Numbers

13 thoughts on “Fibonacci Numbers”

  1. 1. I love this site. I love non-commissioned public art, and I love that you’re doing it consciously (i.e., not permanently marking). I love that it’s about your math passion. Mathion?
    B. (ha ha) Did you know I’ve shot many images in nature (esp. succulents and flowers) that have that Fibonacci action? Musing upon the subject, I think there’s something inherently soothing about it to our brains. Don’t quite have the distinctions to put it into words, so it’s more of a hunch, but if you’d like to read what I got so far: http://karenussery.com/ca.html
    III. My best example of it: http://karenussery.com/suswre.html

    1. Thank you! I wanted to push at my own bounds and share my joy for math with honor and respect for people. I want the images to occur as an opportunity, rather than a requirement. The chalk will be gone with the next rain or by the end of the next rush hour. The blog gives a different life to the work. I am working on a graceful way to point people who are chalkside to this blog.

      I love that you are referencing the Fibonacci sequence. Your photos are beautiful. The succulent swirl remix image is profound. I think you are spot on about some sort of innate response to the golden rectangle and spiral. Maybe it is genetic information passed down from some important lesson we learned ages ago.

      – e

      1. I was going to suggest that you get people to your blog via the chalk! Perhaps a simple signature of “footpath math”? And on the other hand, there’s also something kind of magical when you stumble upon something anonymous and beautiful and/or thought-provoking…

      2. That is the debate I have been having with myself. I love to think of the wonder some folks might experienced when finding math imagery on the ground. Given that I am keeping a blog, my project isn’t secret. For the folks who find it on the street, though, anonymity is preserved. The work on the street is not an advertisement for the online work, and the two are connected (one-way at least). I think if I use small white chalk and plant a note, the connection could be created without undermining the wonder.

    1. I was thinking a lot about Venn diagrams when I replied to Karen’s comment. I was thinking about the people who have seen the blog (one circle) and the people who have seen the chalk on the street (another circle). To my knowledge, Laurie and I are the only ones in the intersection, the overlap of the two circles. That will be changing soon.

      I have also been reading a book about infinity by Brian Clegg. He has done a great job articulating the difference between the way the ancient Greeks did math (think Geometry; arguments were visual) and the way math transformed with the advent of algebra (arguments live in the abstraction of symbolism). Our brains have both capacities: (1) the world of sight, spatial relations, and aesthetics; and (2) the world of symbols. I believe the great mathematicians and artists are strong in both realms. Math is not merely concerned with abstract symbolism. The symbolism is merely a tool for noting complex relationships, relationships that may be beyond our capacity to visualize. Mathematicians are creative in how they see and represent the world. As a math teacher, my #1 job is to foster the development of creative and analytical thought. Not just one at a time, I am interested in making room for the sort of magic occurring when these two circles of thinking overlap.

      1. “Our brains have both capacities: (1) the world of sight, spatial relations, and aesthetics; and (2) the world of symbols.”

        I hope you don’t mean to exclude aesthetics from the world of symbols. I often encounter symbols which are quite beautiful! ; )

      2. Yes, symbols can be beautiful! I love a good 3! Lower case zeta can be downright sexy. By “world of symbols,” I was thinking of symbols as pointers to concepts as opposed to the symbol as an object in and of itself. The numeral 2 can be lovely, and it is also a pointer to the concept: thing and another thing. Parts of our brains have developed to consider the numeral as an object of language, abstracting a concept. This is what I was distinguishing from the world of aesthetics.

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