mΔth•Σ•m4tics

For big city dwellers, beauty mixed with mathematics is a part of their natural environment.  

Last year, in order to get New Yorkers, especially children, excited about mathematics The Smithsonian Channel partnered with the National Museum of Math and organized an event to prove that the Flatiron building’s proportions are Pythagorean.

Credit: Library of Congress/ Wikipedia  

Credit: Library of Congress/ Wikipedia

 

Citizens surrounded the Flatiron at night using glow sticks and created a giant illuminated right triangle, “The largest demonstration of the Pythagorean Theorem the world has ever seen.”

Credit: Typical Floor View - D. H. Burnham & co - The "Architecture" magazine, published 1902 / Wikipedia

Credit: Typical Floor View - D. H. Burnham & co - The "Architecture" magazine, published 1902 / Wikipedia

The Chrysler Building is another beautiful New York skyscraper whose construction consists of more than its eye-popping  art deco adornment.  This glittery building has a distinct geometry to it: the central part is a rectangular prism with isosceles triangle windows.   

Credit: Photograph by Leena Hietanen / Wikipedia

Credit: Photograph by Leena Hietanen / Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Photograph by Julius Schorzman / Wikipedia

Credit: Photograph by Julius Schorzman / Wikipedia

 

 

Geometry appears at the core of all architecture.

 
 

THE GREAT PYRAMIDS WERE JUST THE BEGINNING.


Take the number 1.61803399, often referred to as The Golden Ratio.  Apparently, its magic can be found all over the natural world.

 
The Golden ratio is a special number found by dividing a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part. It is often symbolized using phi, after the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet. Credit: www.livescience.com

The Golden ratio is a special number found by dividing a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part. It is often symbolized using phi, after the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet. Credit: www.livescience.com

 

The number (or proportion) can be seen in some world famous man-made buildings like the Taj Mahal in India and the Parthenon in Greece.  Some believe the number 1.61803399 is built into Le Corbusier’s  UN Secretariat Building in New York City.  They say the architect deliberately put it there because the proportions generated by this very special number are pleasing to the human eye.                                                                                                                        

For parents who want to STEAM power their children’s education, living in a city like New York with so many beautiful buildings to look at, admire and even measure with your eyes is a great big bonus.

All they have to do is explore their surroundings. Art, mathematics, beauty, as well as history is all around!

BY: DOROTHY NIXON

Contributing from Montreal, Quebec CN

 

Resources / additional info:

  1. The Golden Ratio in Nature, Art, Math and Architecture by Eva Coombes
  2. Museum of Mathematics (youtube channel)
  3. Math-Kitechure
  4. Le Corbusier’s United Nation’s Headquarters
  5. Architecture inspired by Mathematics
  6. http://www.lilburnes.org/Students/Media2/Chrysler/Chrysler_geometry.html