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Mirror, Mirror, ...Mathematical Mirror on the Wall...

Continuing with last week's theme, I am constantly amazed by authors and their ability to produce new insights...and their ability to take common ideas and display them in new clothes. This week, the new clothes is called "beauty."

Martin Erikson, a mathematician at Truman State University, has just published a fascinating book designed to promote an esthetic appeal. The text Beautiful Mathematics is yet another gem you need to browse.

Erickson's goal is to inspire others via the beauty of mathematics. The text contains many related and unrelated articles, all organized around one of seven common themes:

  • Imaginative Words (e.g. Waterfall of Primes)
  • Intriguing Images (e.g. Bulging Hyperspheres)
  • Captivating Formulas (e.g. Smallest Taxicab Number)
  • Delightful Theorems (e.g. Polynomial Symmetries)
  • Pleasing Proofs (e.g. Triangles with Given Area and Perimeter)
  • Elegant Solutions (e.g. Making a Million)
  • Creative Problems (e.g. Binary Matrix Game)
The audience for the book? The author responds: "...there is something new in it for any mathematically-minded person. I especially recommend it to high school and college students, as they need motivation, to study mathematics and beauty is a strong motivation; and to professional mathematicians, because we always need fresh examples of mathematical beauty..."

The author also offers a problem set, called "Eye Opening Explorations." Plus, he includes a solution commentary as a guide, along with an extensive bibleography.

My suggestion: Get the book and browse. I expect that in every section, you will discover new aspects of beauty via the mathematics...and you will probably want to share them with others. Go for it!