Idea Capstone - Woockman 1 Jason Woockman Professor Geu...

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Woockman 1 Jason Woockman Professor Geu IDEA 499 23 April 2009 Mathematical Beauty In the following paper, I plan to show how mathematics is strongly involved in many forms of art. Math is used in architecture, drawings, paintings, origami, and in almost every form of art. I will look at different mathematical rules and equations involved in art and in the interdisciplinary topic of biology, such as the Fibonacci sequence and the golden section. I will also explore the artists M.C. Escher and Leonardo da Vinci and how they used mathematical concepts in their work. I will use interdisciplinary topics such as the history of math in art and the use of computers and math in art. Most people see math to be all about boring numbers, but that is not what it is really about. I am a math major, and although some of my classes have used number crunching and pointless, mind-numbing evaluating, many of them have nothing to do with that. People seem to think that since I am a math major, I can multiply 24 by 132 like some human calculator, but mostly, math is about abstract ideas and principles. Horace Brock, founder and president of Strategic Economic Decisions Inc., explains in an article from The Boston Globe , "Mathematics is hugely under-estimated. It's not about numbers; it's about orders and relationships," (Smee 1). This brings some clarity into the blurry line of similarity between math and art. It may be hard for one to see a similarity in math and art. Although they may seem like two completely different subjects, they are somewhat similar, and they are incorporated in each other. For example, geometry would be very hard to recognize and explain without the use of
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Woockman 2 shapes. In the book The Visual Mind , it is explained that mathematical ideas are merely concepts until they are given a concrete form and shape from art (Emmer 8). Once people understood the relationship of art and math, it became apparent in various works. As mentioned before, one person who saw this relationship was Horace Brock. Brock uses equations and graphs to prove the beauty that lies within art, and he believes that designed objects can be dissected into “themes” and “transformations” (Smee 1). For example, an artwork can be full of transformations of triangles; considering triangles that maybe stretched, modified by angles, etc. The three main transformations are rotations, reflections, and translations. These are different from the transformation known as dilations because as opposed to dilations, the other transformations do not change the size of the object. The transformations other than dilations merely turn, flip, or move the object keeping its original size. Brock could most definitely apply his “beauty theory” to art works from Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps one of the best artists to ever live, and he has masterpieces
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Idea Capstone - Woockman 1 Jason Woockman Professor Geu...

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