For the Love of Math


My background is in workplace design and architecture, and my skills tend toward the visual, spatial, and intuitive. I haven’t always held a love of math, and I struggled with its abstractions in school. But I’ve always had this intuition about its beauty.

Like many people, I browse the news at breakfast, and one recent morning the article How to Fall in Love with Math caught my attention.  While I was sipping my coffee, I read the article from author and mathematician Manil Suri.  I was drawn in by his examples of math’s broad appeal and he prompted me to “contemplate the elegance of infinity” instead of obsessing about my to-do list.

As a mathematician, I can attest that my field is really about ideas above anything else. Ideas that inform our existence, that permeate our universe and beyond, that can surprise and enthrall.

Think of it this way: you can appreciate art without acquiring the ability to paint, or enjoy a symphony without being able to read music. Math also deserves to be enjoyed for its own sake, without being constantly subjected to the question, “When will I use this?”

Math is foundational to software design and development, and the historical relationship between math and art is well documented. I know I’m not alone in my love of MC Escher’s math-inspired work.

The array of interconnections between math, art and life is big topic to ponder. Not a bad way to start the day.