Mathematics, a word that sounds miserable to me and brings headaches to many people. I always had an ambivalent feeling about the word. From one side, I didn’t have a good experience with my studies in math. I was a good student who always had troubles in math during my early school time. A fear of math learning developed and accompanied with me until I entered college, where math is no longer required course.
From the other side, I am attracted to the beauty of the structures exhibited in math: I was amazed when I learned about the structure of a snowflake presented during my natural science class; enjoying the layers of soap bubbles by blowing through a straw, and seeing the shining bubbles and the inflection of colors changing in the sun; I enjoy collecting many kinds of shells from a walk on the beach, organizing them in order and see how they share similar patterns. My eyes appreciate the spiral pattern of a sunflower pistil, spider webs glistening with morning drew, tiny yet exquisite honeycomb structure, delicate tree rings draw by time and countless beautiful little things from the nature.
My thesis includes two parts: for the first part - DECODING BEAUTY, I tried to string relationship between beauty and the mathematical hints behind it. Through doing a great deal of research from different areas, such as Mother Nature, the man-made world, art and design history and our daily life, examples and evidences are found to approve that aside from the practical function of mathematics, there are more perceptive and spiritual aspects about this subject to humans. The hidden relationship between math and design are revealed.
The second part - DEFINING BEAUTY is focused on discussing how this relationship between math and beauty can help in education from a design perspective. Especially for the students who prefer to think and learn more intuitively and visually, graphic design can make teaching math more engaging and interesting to them.