The Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science (Anglais) Broché – 29 septembre 1995
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Présentation de l'éditeur
But It's No Secret
Michael Schneider leads us on a spectacular, lavishly illustrated journey along the numbers one through ten to explore the mathematical principles made visible in flowers, shells, crystals, plants, and the human body, expressed in the symbolic language of folk sayings and fairy tales, myth and religion, art and architecture. This is a new view of mathematics, not the one we learned at school but a comprehensive guide to the patterns that recur through the universe and underlie human affairs. A Beginner's Guide to Constructing, the Universe shows you:
- Why cans, pizza, and manhole covers are round.
- Why one and two weren't considered numbers by the ancient Greeks.
- Why squares show up so often in goddess art and board games.
- What property makes the spiral the most widespread shape in nature, from embryos and hair curls to hurricanes and galaxies.
- How the human body shares the design of a bean plant and the solar system.
- How a snowflake is like Stonehenge, and a beehive like a calendar.
- How our ten fingers hold the secrets of both a lobster and a cathedral.
- And much more.
Biographie de l'auteur
Michael S. Schneider is an educator developing new perceptions of nature, science, art, and mathematics, holding workshops for teachers, artists, architects, and children concerning nature's numerical language. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and a Master's Degree in Math Education from the University of Florida. He was a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar in India and taught in public schools for eleven years. An education writer and computer consultant, he designed the geometry harmonizing the statues at the entrance to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, where he lives.
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In the fourteenth century Pope Benedictus XII was selecting artists to work for the Vatican, requesting from each applicant a sample of his ability. Lire la première page
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Mr. Schneider gets into the Platonic Solids, explains the golden section and its use in architecture and nature, shows the regularity in nature and a lot more. This is a very educational book that covers a lot of ground, and does so in an entertaining way.
What I really like about the book is the author's ability to bring geometry to life. There are many diagrams, drawings and pictures which make it easy to follow the text.
The book is written for the layman, not the mathematician. If you are looking for a more rigorous introduction to geometry, try reading H.M.S. Coxeter (if you can!).
This book would be a nice companion to "The Power of Limits" by Doczi, 'The Geometry of Art and Life" by Ghyka, and "The Divine Proportion" by Huntley.
If I had to recommend only one book about geometry for the average reader, this book would be my first choice.
The numbers 1-10 (&12) are the key to the code of nature's designs, and are the basis of an ancient symbolic language used to design the arts, crafts & architecture worldwide.
Each of 10 chapters looks at that number & its related shapes, as they appear in nature's beautiful forms, in art, in symbolism, and as archetypes of our own spiritual nature.
Shapes are the characters of the alphabet in which the Book of Nature is written, and this is a "math" book with no math (the kind of cold "math" we were shown in school, anyway). Some people call it "sacred geometry".
This book will save you years of research, and show you how to appreciate the shapes of nature as a symbolic language familiar to our deepest self. Every shape has a "meaning" and this book shows you what they are. Reviews (Parabola Journal Winter 95, New Age Journal 8/95, etc, all remark how "accessible" it is.
I hope you enjoy it. If you read it, write me, if you like.
Michael S. Schneider
This book is by no means for math majors only; even math dummies like this reviewer will find themselves totally caught up. Art and design students especially will appreciate the almost infinite variety of possible designs suggested within each primary number and the basic shapes (circle, square and triangle). Schneider also shows how, with a compass, pencil and straightedge, one can construct one's own symbolic universe.
I came away from this book not only enlightened on the subject of symbolic math, but blown away by the relationship between geometry and religion. Because reading this book makes one realize that the universe is not random, as we see it within our limited scope, but has a definite function and order, and perhaps only the God who created it according to His plan can see it whole.
The author knows his Pythagoras, but unfortunately he plays fast and loose with a few other things. One example is the "red devil" image of Set that doesn't exist anywhere in ancient Egyptian literature or art. And throughout the book he seems to go a little too far into New Age mystical fuzziness for my tastes.
Overall I'd recommend the book, but any statements that aren't purely mathematical, take with a grain of salt. The math itself is fascinating enough without the embellishments.
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