Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mathematics beckons, but remains ever beyond. On occasion my cognitive hand closes around a mathematical concept as around a blushing peach. There is something deeply satisfying about grasping a mathematical principle. Math's sweet juice is a volatile nectar for the mind.

My brother's colleague recommended the NYT column of a mathematician who renders mathematical concepts into solid prose for laymen. I just read the April 18 post of this Steven Strogatz, It Slices, It Dices.

Steven starts by noticing, as I noticed in high school geometry, that mathematics' integral sign looks like the f-hole in a violin--and I am hooked. However, when Steven brings it home with "...a fitting coincidence, given that some of the most enchanting harmonies in mathematics are expressed by integrals" I am ready to be reeled in. I've subscribed to Steven Strogatz' NYT RSS feed.