We define beauty as perfection. Anything that we thought is perfect, we sometimes anchor or associate it with the word “beautiful”. If we were to ask what we are considered perfect and beautiful, we often say it is an art, a music or someone we truly admire. But those people who are into mathematics, mostly mathematicians, claimed that mathematics itself is beautiful. They believe that beauty can be explained by mathematics as well and it is the motivation or the reason behind every perfection that a thing or a person has, but why mathematics is considered beautiful by many? How come these numbers, set of patterns and equations make this world full of elegance and wonder? The sense of beauty present in mathematics has been notoriously defined by experts to over centuries. These people provided evidences how a certain object can be beautiful with mathematics.
Famous Bertrand Russell saw mathematics as a “supreme beauty” other than truth. Also, in 1202, Leonardo Bonacci just prove that there’s beauty in mathematics through his well-known Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, …). Look everywhere and you will notice the said patterns even in our nature. If you have more time in your hands, try to count the petals of the flowers or the branches of the trees and you will find the Fibonacci series there. And if you are still not convinced, try looking at the fruits and pinecones and it will always be a Fibonacci number which suggests that mathematics can be the means of communication between nature and the mankind. Its usefulness extends to the point that many consider it as a way for people to communicate and understand the puzzle of our nature.
Another reason why mathematics is beautiful is because of its excellence in making the element of surprise and attractiveness comes into unity. Centuries ago, Euclid introduces the “golden ratio” (1.618) where in if we get the ratio of the two consecutive numbers in Fibonacci series and continue down the sequence, surprisingly, it will lead you on getting the golden ratio. What’s more surprising is that how these two patterns frequently appear or occur in nature — in humans, in plants, the storm’s eye and even the shape our universe is embodied with these patterns. Also, even in a person’s face, mathematics has a lot to say. If a face seems appealing or attractive to you, maybe you notice that it is perfect-proportioned face. In other words, you see perfection because it has Fibonacci, it has golden ratio, there is mathematics present. That is why, frankly, the Greeks argued that “beauty is in the phi of the beholder”. Men are capable of doing things because of mathematics. It allows us to predict what is ahead of us, organize disorder things and build objects with great beauty. The usefulness of it helps us to turn our ideas into reality.
Some of the famous architecture and masterpiece are said to be aesthetically beautiful because of one particular reason — mathematics. Every build megalithic structure such as The Parthenon or the Pyramid of Giza, any harmonious symphonies of a well-known musicians like Beethoven, Bach or Mozart, and in the paintings of Da Vinci like Monalisa and Vitruvian Man, there is mathematics that inspired such artists and geniuses. Thus, mathematics is not just found in art but instead mathematics itself is an art. It pushes us to step into the light giving us pleasure and intense feeling of delight Zaiger (2011). Interestingly, Aharoni (2014) considered mathematics beautiful as how beautiful is poetry. According to him, mathematics is resembled to that of poetry for both of them sheds a new light on what is hidden. Both are into the discovery of underlying patterns and unraveling what is beneath of things. Furthermore, he explained that such sense of beauty is present in poetry and mathematics because of “displacement” and “unexpected twist”. One cannot understand the true meaning of the poem or find the solution of a problem just by merely looking at what is on the surface of such things. Thus, beauty lies beyond those devious literary devices and abstractions and it requires deeper analysis and comprehension to discover the inner structure. How mathematics reveals such beautiful tessellations and patterns are also what makes it more elegance and wonderful among others.
As mathematics becomes a language, an art and a tool for mankind, its wholeness and beauty doesn’t stop right there. Its beauty lies within its own simplicity, consistency and human race’s continuous explorations on the things that are still unclear to the world. The beauty of mathematics is on our great effort to find the most beautiful solution that will make the world a better place to live in. Every born invention, patent or masterpiece from the river of ideas of mankind, it is all influence by mathematics. Somehow, it helps us understand and predict the unexplainable things. Without us even noticing, mathematics governs almost all the things around us. All in all, we can say that beauty can be explain by mathematics, and thus, mathematics itself is indeed beautiful. We cannot deny that mathematics plays a crucial role in people and community, in nature, and in the world because such numbers, important equations, and geometrical patterns are very useful in our everyday living.
Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden ratio are just few of those so many evidences that mathematics, beyond perfect, is beautiful. As people become more open to mathematics, mankind also becomes closer to nature and eventually we can unfold its hidden beauty. Maybe that is why positivist have put on so much belief in numbers. They believed that there are certain things that only numbers can explain. Now that we understand that mathematics is the fundamental part or the vigor behind every creations and inventions that we are enjoying today, we will all be reminded or a notion that a particular thing becomes beautiful because of mathematics. Through mathematics such works becomes attractive like a magnet and we get to notice things. Nothing is ever beautiful without mathematics.