A classic paper on the usefulness (and beauty) of mathematics, if you have not read this:
Yet another use of the word ‘beautiful’, this time in science. An emotional moment as Andrei Dmitriyevich Linde learns about evidence for his inflationary universe theory?
Witness the joy of the man who predicted today’s Big Bang discovery as he hears the news.
(Not sure scientific discovery is the same as mathematical discovery, but quite emotional all the same. :-) )
Not sure how long this link will last, but the workshop on beauty and explanation got some press in the Swedish national newspaper, Dagens Nyheter.
Matematik som skönhet och njutning.
(but I’m afraid the proof of the pythagorean theorem is not so beautiful! But it resulted in a very interesting discussion amongst those of us interviewed in the article.)
A nice introductory video about some of the beautiful aspects of mathematics. I like the use of the word ‘comforting’. How many of our students would use that word to characterize their experience of school mathematics?
Imperial College London media library : What is the beauty of Mathematics?.
“We believe, frankly, that research in general topology is almost exclusively driven by two things: the existence of difficult, challenging problems, and the beauty of many of the results.” (p. 200)
History of Topology – Google Books.
“Neuroscience can’t tell you what beauty is, but if you find it beautiful the medial orbito-frontal cortex is likely to be involved, you can find beauty in anything,” he said.”
BBC News – Mathematics: Why the brain sees maths as beauty.
Sometimes even a man with blue hair can make a lot of sense. Jesse Prinz talks about why we experience beauty in nature, but as you listen to this film, I think you can substitute the word “mathematics” for “nature.”
Awakening the Journey with Jesse Prinz on Vimeo