Read Matematik Sanatı by Jerry P. King Free Online
Book Title: Matematik Sanatı|
The author of the book: Jerry P. King
Edition: Tübitak Popüler Bilim Kitapları
Date of issue: July 2003
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 847 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2012 times
Reader ratings: 4.6
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
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OK, so don't laugh... Jerry King has written a serious book about the aesthetics of math, and it is one of the best books I've read about math ever.
The thesis of the book is that research mathematicians are artists in that they create something of beauty and elegance in their work as they create new mathematics from logic. King explores this idea from several angles building on the work of pure mathematicians (as opposed to applied mathematicians that work in fields such as physics or engineering that see math as a tool rather than an art) and philosophers of aesthetics. As a mathematician himself, King then gives a blistering critique of current mathematics departments at research universities arguing that the professors of mathematics form a kind of aristocracy that are insulated from change and thus they appreciate the art of their work, but simultaneously they feel no obligation to share that with the rest of the world and indeed believe that the rest of the world wouldn't understand it if they did. He then revises C.P. Snow's concept of the two cultures, the humanities and the scientists, in academia to suggest that the divide could more easily be between those that know and use highers level math (i.e. Calculus) and those that don't. From this he suggests, that the mathematics community has an obligation to step outside of their cloistered walls and share beauty and elegance of creating mathematics. This book was written in 1992, and I haven't been in a university classroom in over ten years. However, what I have seen in the folks that I know and work with, the state of college level math has not changed.
But what is most compelling to me as preschool to middle school educator are the implications of this work to my own work. I am not someone situated to or suited to the artistic endeavor of creating new mathematics, however, I am convinced of King's argument. In fact, I have seen the beauty of mathematics in the recreation of mathematics by students. It is this work which I think begins with a child's first conception of space and number which is the foundation of beauty of mathematics. King suggests that any idea which has minimal completeness and maximum applicability is a thing of beauty. As elementary and middle school math teachers we have an obligation to help students recreate math and to help them see the beauty in their creations by pushing them to articulate their understanding with minimal completeness (no unnecessary words) and maximum applicability not to just the "real world" but to world that is math.
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