Monday, January 9, 2012

The Beauty and the Beast.

I will not describe mathematics as the beauty and the beast but to some it is very scary and to others, beauty.
In the book, The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa,  a professor was able to teach mathematics to a housekeeper and her son. With simple examples, the professor opened a fascinating world to the mother which she did not know existed and found that learning was a joy. 
“ taught me something important in the waiting room.”
“Something important?”
“You taught me about triangular numbers from 1 to 10-something I could never imagined, something sublime.” I held out the most important note. “Shall we start with this one?”
“My memory lasts only eighty minutes.”

“Euler’s formula shone like a shooting star in the night sky, or like a line of poetry carved on the wall of a dark cave. I slipped the Professor’s note into my wallet, strangely moved by the beauty of those few symbols. As I headed down the library stairs, I turned back to look. The mathematics stacks were as silent and empty as ever-apparently no one suspected the riches hidden there.”
I finished reading the book the other night.
(the photo is by Cheri. Disneyland, Saturday night)

No comments: