Tuesday, March 25, 2014

[SOLSC] Ineffability

I am taking part in the Slice of Life Story Challenge with Two Writing Teachers. For this challenge I will be attempting to write a "Slice of Life" post each day in the month of March and each Tuesday after that.

Part of my new-found love for math centers around it's elegance and ineffability. Last weekend at the 69th Annual ASCD Conference, Sir Ken Robinson mentioned that a doctoral study in "Pure Math" would include work that is both innovative and elegant. That struck me and I've been stewing on it ever since. I like elegant things. I respect simple beauty. I'm impressed with the elegance of nature and even more impressed with mathematical concepts found in nature.

Image Citation
I also have a deep respect for ineffability. Ideas of concepts that can not, or should not, be expressed in words. What a gorgeous idea. An idea that ought not be said aloud. A Lord Voldemort of philosophy. I would love to have an idea so inexplicably elegant that I can't even say it out loud. What a hallmark of genius that would be!

If math is both elegant and ineffable, then I may have found something to love--a way in. 

Here is a list of 11 Beautiful Math Equations from LiveScience.com:
General Relativity 
Standard Model 
Pythagorean Theorem 
Special Relativity 
Euler's Equation 
Euler–Lagrange Equations and Noether's Theorem 
Callan-Symanzik Equation 
Minimal Surface Equation 
The Euler Line
Here are my first thoughts--from the lens of a newbie mathematician...

This Euler fellow seems to know a thing or two.
I like that there is a general relativity and a special relativity.
My mind is shattering at the idea that 1=0.99999..., but since I remember Calculus also shattering my mind, I'm not surprised.

How about you, what are your first thoughts about these 11 elegant-but-not-quite-ineffable ideas?


  1. I'm not a math person, but I certainly think the heart diagram is pretty snazzy!

  2. 11 beautiful math equations. I love that. I will be clicking through these. (Like Nanc, I'm not a math person either.)