Friday, May 5, 2017

Math and Art?

So I'm trying to come up with more analogies as I learn this stuff. And some interesting thoughts occurred to me. If you paired up calculus, discrete math, and linear algebra with any of the arts, which would each best represent?

Discrete Math as Music (or, more precisely, as rhythm): So, discrete math really, to me, feels like patterns, which in turn feel like rhythms. The first thing you have to do is understand the basics of the language. Or, if you liken to music, to be able to read or play/recognize each note. Then you need to understand how they are used in certain conditions. And you need to play. You kind of learn by doing. I found, for example, that actually going through and doing breadth-first and depth-first searches helped far more than the definitions. Once you get the "rhythm" of the things, of the patterns you are creating or identifying, it all feels like less of a mystery. And I kind of get the sense that it could eventually be intuitive. Also, a concept like bipartite (which I got wrong on my last test) is probably easier to understand if you think more in patterns than in formal definitions.

Calculus as Sketching: This really came about because I might eventually be taking a physics class. And I did some basic reading here and there. There seems to be three skill sets that will help you do OK in physics: math (often calculus), concepts, and sketching out visual representations of the problems you are trying to solve. And if it becomes second nature for you to be able to sketch out what you are thinking, maybe it's easier to give workable shape to the physical body problems you are trying to solve in your head. Reading about learning basic physics kind of made me interested in taking my school's Basic Drawing class.

Linear Algebra as ?: Honestly, I don't even know. Nothing came to mind here. I guess I start thinking more about architecture, engineering, or space than any art.