Video Shows The Hidden Beauty Of Everyday Math

by Lily Feinn

We use math everyday — from calculating tips at restaurants to baking a pie (not pi) to banking. It can start to feel like a bit of a slog doing all this basic adding and subtracting, so I invite you to step away from your phone calculator, and watch this video on the beauty of mathematics. This short film will refresh your love of math and make you appreciate how even the most complex structure can be explained with an elegant equation — and it is happening all around us.

Unless we are in the midst of studying for a physics exam, we rarely walk around thinking about the math behind every structure of our world (that would be a bit overwhelming). Using three panels the short film illustrates the beauty of the natural sciences and physics, and applied mathematics. It shows in one panel the equation or data set, in the center panel a diagram of said equation, and in the third, a visualization of the math in our world. Seeing a thunderstorm or a spinning top reduced to numbers is fascinating, and will make you want to break out your old physics text book again.

The filmmakers Yann Pineill and Nicolas Lefaucheux are part of the video production company Parachutes. Their visually arresting videos seek to combine graphic design, music, and cinema to a powerful effect. This film is so obsessed with math that even the aspect ratio of the video is 3.14.1. But, fair warning, this short will make you want to watch A Beautiful Mind again and again (and not just for young Russell Crowe).

So what does the math look like behind some of our daily activities?

Scrolling Through The Interwebs

I often look at my computer as a magic box that does my bidding, but behind every click and webpage is complex HTML and binary. I should probably remember this next time something is taking forever to load.

Wearing Hipster Glasses

When I wake up and reaching for my glasses, I can guarantee that I never stopped to think about what the glasses are doing to my eyes. Magnification looks so cool from a mathematical level, you'll start investing in monocles.

Check out the whole video here and start to appreciate the beauty of all the math in the world!

Images: Vimeo; Unsplash