Embracing the Math of Our Lives

First, a big hearty welcome to Knoxville and all of Eastern Tennessee as Between the Linesbegins airing every Sunday at 5:00 PMon Eastern Tennessee PBS. The episode that makes its debut in Tennessee, and on most of our station this week, features rocket scientist Olympia LePoint and her book Mathaphobia. I covered this topic earlier, with a different angle, when I had astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett on the program.

The subject of Math, not just the kind we learn in school but the one that surrounds our lives every moment, strikes fear in the minds of many. However, that fear can be turned to beauty and joy when we give it a chance.

When I was looking for a new approach to this subject I spoke with my son EliHis thoughtful response was that there is an interesting dichotomy to the fact that math is all around us, is actually apart of us and in our DNA, yet we still fear it. His hypothesis was that this fear might be better described as an unconscious awe, due to the wonderment and reverence we feel without learned behavior, that can easily slip into fear. 

In fact, the double helix of DNA and the spiral of it, is all about the math that literally makes us. From the spirals in our fingertips to the spirals of every galaxy in our universe, math is all around us.

His thought was that it’s really this deep rooted connectivity to math, on a spiritual level, that creates an unease. Director Darren Aronofsky explores a theme of this nature in his acclaimed film π (Pi).

Eli does not consider himself great at math but truly cherishes the topic. He believes that if we embrace the unknown variables of life and the complexity of everything within the math of our soul, we just might feel the awe that it inspires even with the fear present.

Enjoy the awe!

TO CONTACT BARRY E-MAIL HIM AT: barrykibrick@aol.com

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3 thoughts on “Embracing the Math of Our Lives

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