I attended the fascinating session presented by Dr. Gary Britton on “Mathematics in Art and Nature” during this weekend’s Festival of Arts at UW-Washington County.
He discussed several topics:
1. The strength and efficiency of the honeycomb structure which is found, obviously, in bee’s honeycombs, but also in plant structures such as bamboo or cork, and is utilized in architecture for lightweight, strong, and beautiful buildings.
2. The Fibonacci sequence in Math which also lends itself to Nature as in the structure of a chambered nautilus, or the petals of flowers. Eye-pleasing Art works such as the Mona Lisa and many man-made structures are also created around the fibonacci sequence. Connections to music and to poetry can even be found. In several of the slides Dr Britton showed I saw a delightful potential quilt pattern, and I just have to explore some of the “Fibs” poems he mentioned.
3. He also discussed the Golden Ratio, and Symmetry, and gave examples of how the math involved was reflected in the world of Art.
I found it fascinating, but the greatest thing was the children in the front row found it interesting too, especially the demonstration of structure using bubbles! And, it was fun to hear people around me utter “Wow”, or “hmmmm” as relationships between Art and Math were explored.
Mary Beth Seiser
Rotary Club of West Bend Sunrise