A visualization showing how three mathematical concepts translate into simple objects in nature.
Mathematical equations are like sonnets says Keith Devlin. What most of us learn in school, he says, doesn’t begin to convey what mathematics is. And technology may free more of us to discover the wonder of mathematical thinking — as a reflection of the inner world of our minds.
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Staff at the Eden Project get to have their first view of the biggest rainforest in captivity from Eden's new Rainforest Lookout on September 6, 2010 in St Austell, England. The aerial platform — which is higher than the Tower of London at the top of the 55-meter-high biome, the largest greenhouse in the world — allows visitors to the Eden Project the chance to look down on the tropical canopy in a way they could never have before. The Rainforest Biome is the larger of Eden's two covered biomes at 100 meters wide, 300 meters long, and 55 meters high and contains thousands of tropical plants including banana trees, coffee, rubber plants and giant bamboo. The aerial platform, which opened to the public this month is the latest attraction to the Cornish tourist spot which gets over 1 million visitors a year.
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An astrophysicist who studies the shape of the universe, Janna Levin has also explored her science by writing a novel about two pivotal 20th-century mathematicians, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing. Both men pushed at boundaries where mathematics presses on grand questions of meaning and purpose. Such questions, she says, help create the technologies that are now changing our sense of what it means to be human.
What Adele Diamond is learning about the brain challenges basic assumptions in modern education. Her work is scientifically illustrating the educational power of things like play, sports, music, memorization and reflection. What nourishes the human spirit, the whole person, it turns out, also hones our minds.