Thursday, December 22, 2011

Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio is one of the amazing mathematical concepts commonly thrown around in psychology and math classrooms. Its essence is associated with the perfect aesthetic form. Golden ratio enthusiasts say that the proportion is present in classic paintings from Leonardo da Vinci and Giotto di Bondone, old world architecture, music and even poetry. The larger and more important question is whether the ratio is present because of a deliberate inclusion of it or if it has appeared because of an underlying force. Are all of the great painters, musicians, poets and architects great because of a talent or are they great because they have tapped into the human psyche and somehow knew what people liked? What is it about φ (phi), the name of the number associated with the phenomenon in question (other names include golden ratio, golden number, golden cut, to name a few), that causes it to show up in both the realm of the man-made and non-man-made? Furthermore, why is φ a basis for beauty?
Whole paper:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Training the Kit generation

My lab has a huge listserv(?) to send out to all of our orthopaedic surgery labs, and one of the emails last week was not the usual meeting, or broken machine. In short, it was an article explaining that kids need to be able to understand what the science they're doing is, not just to read the instructions and try super hard to make the experiment work. I think that's incredibly relevant, and the person sending it was spot on in saying it's important in today's society.
Little aside, one of the witty people send back something that I chuckled at.
"What? You expect men to actually read the instructions AND understand them? "

I hope this link goes to the right source. But if not, you can look it up for yourselves. The paper is Nature America, and the article is "Training the Kit generation" ENJOY!

Newton > Goethe, pt. 1

Newton introduced a method for producing the beautiful Julia fractal.

Georg-Johann Lay. Julia N z3 -2z 2.jpg. 2008. Graphic. n.p. Web. 5 Dec 2011.