Friday, April 29, 2005

April is also...

Turns out April is also Math Awareness Month!

What a wonderful thing... Math and poetry. Two of my four favorite things. (I'll leave you to figure out the other two. Heh.)

In honor of April, I am posting a sonnet I wrote about math. Enjoy. (Or, if you don't, let me know why.)

The Science of Patterns

The order of the colors, prism bent;
The fractions in a chambered snail’s shell;
Statistics buried, called coincidence;
The chemical recall of asphodel.

So water congregates to build a cloud
and droplets marry heavy, forming rain;
With Spanish moss’s chaos-patterned shroud
To respirations measured fill and drain.

Honeycombs, whose architects are bees;
The icy veins in alabaster’s skin;
The march of leaves up eucalyptus trees;
The oscillating song of violin.

An ocean wave will roll in, uninvolved
In differential equations it has solved.

30 October 2003

In honor of the month, go read something mathematical, such as Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos. (Flesch-Kincaid index of 14.1. Yow.) Or anything by Martin Gardner. Or, one of my favorites, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter (Flesch-Kincaid index of 10.8). A wonderful journey through the music of Bach, the art of Escher and the mathematics of Gödel, with meanderings into artificial intelligence, human creativity, number theory, and philosophy. And it's entertaining to read.

Or, if you prefer fiction, try Leaning Towards Infinity: How My Mother's Apron Unfolds into My Life by Sue Woolfe. (Though, to be truthful, I get mixed reviews on it from friends I've recommended it to.) Or an excellent collection of short stories, Mathenauts: Tales of Mathematical Wonder edited by Rudy Rucker (who, by the way, has also written many great books on mathematics).

Ahh... so many books...

Isn't life wonderful?

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