Geek Equals Math Plus Art

Mathematics is the gate and key of the sciences. …Neglect of mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since he who is ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences or the things of this world.” –Roger Bacon

Math is one of those quintessentially geeky things that are often taught so badly that even some of the geekiest among us find it inaccessible. Even boring. And for many people, the way we’re taught math when we’re young is how we relate to math when we’re grown. It’s a tragedy, but like many seemingly intractable problems, I suspect this one has an elegant solution.

Imagine my delight when I was stumbling around the internet and discovered that fellow artist, Vi Hart, had begun to shine a light on the subject of learning math through doodling. Yes, doodling! The fact is, math is all about patterns, and art is the natural direction to turn to help us visualize the sort of complex abstractions present in mathematics. Especially during a boring math class.

Get your art supplies ready, friends, it’s time to learn some math!

Exponential functions are mythical hydras:

Factoring is a sky full of stars:

Graph theory quickly devolves into snakes on a plane:

Infinity is a Saharan caravan:

Prime numbers can talk to aliens:

And, there is FINALLY a Christmas song I’ll actually sing! Or rather, there’s a ChristMATH song I’ll actually sing:

Now tell me, didn’t you just take a closer look at all your arts and crafts projects, as I did with mine, and discover that you’ve been a secret math whiz all along?

3 thoughts on “Geek Equals Math Plus Art”

1. Yay! Awesome! It’s true; I went years thinking I didn’t like math, until I took a Teaching Elementary Math class in college and discovered how I SHOULD have been taught.

2. Wow. You are awesome. I am and have been allergic to math of any kind forever, and I just watched your doodles and listened to your explanations for 10 whole minutes all rapt…not that I could do it but you are awesome so keep it up.