Doctoral Dance

A blogging friend, Colleen, sent me a link to this enjoyable and interesting TED talk:

Most readers of this blog wouldn’t find it hard to guess that I think that funding for the arts is important.  My interest in science is more disguised.  Science-related topics don’t appear on my blog very often because I consider this to be an “arts and crafts” blog.  I can only think of two posts – here and here – where I deal with any kind of overlap between art and science.  There is a beauty to mathematics that I’ve wanted to make visible to non-mathematicians for a long time but have never found a satisfactory way of doing so.  I think it’s wonderful that scientists are finding artistic ways to get their message across.  However, as I think Bohannon is trying to suggest at the end of the video, maybe we should just enjoy the arts for their inherent qualities.  Surely that is better than trying to justify their existence by mashing them into the service of science?

By the way, if you want to see a lighter side to mathematics, but also learn something, then try clicking here.

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Posted on March 11, 2015, in Art and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Having been a teacher and sitting through numerous powerpoint presentations where someone gave me a printed copy of the powerpoint to look at while they showed me and read to me the powerpoint — I really connected with the idea of the movement of dance complimenting and enhancing.rather than repeating the the presenters ideas. I often wondered how to convey all the science and stats behind MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) — I could easily visualize it being done with dance. I’m glad you got to connect with both your analytic and artistic sides. ❤

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    • 😀 I’ve also been the victim of quite a few Powerpoint presentations; I feel your pain. 😉 In fact, one time, when I got carted off to hospital in an ambulance, I felt it literally. We had a new lecturer who thought that because he had been given a 3-hour slot that he had to fill the whole three hours with his presentation. When I started to get dizzy I got up to go get some fresh air. I never made it to the door. I passed out and fell badly, injuring my head and jaw. I still have the scar!

      I found the dancers a little distracting at the beginning but, once I got used to the format, I found that they enhanced the message a lot.

      I’d love to see your ideas for the MCS dance in action. Is there a dance group in Fulton?

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      • Wow that is a literal interpretation of a presentation giving you a headache. The most I’ve had is a tired jaw from yawning. 😀 You surely know how to make a dramatic exit. Hope you recovered quickly.

        We have dance studios where kids take lessons. We have a local non-profit group CNY Arts that is just starting out and trying enhance all the arts in Fulton. I guess I’ll have to put the Law of Attraction to work and dream up some stuff. <3.

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      • It was so embarrassing. I was trying to make a quiet exit but I ended up making one of my classmates scream (I had my recording device still running so, even though I didn’t hear it at the time, I heard the whole thing afterwards). I recovered more quickly from the injury than I did from the embarrassment. 🙂
        Oooo, the CNY Arts thing sounds really exciting. I hope you come up with something spectacular. 😀

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      • Right now spectacular is only in my imagination but that is always a great place to start. 😀 You’re lucky no one posted the whole scene on Youtube. The one good thing about embarrassing events is years later they make for great stories.

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      • Absolutely, a great place to start. With your skills at attraction there is no reason why a spectacular imagining can’t become a spectacular reality. I’m excited to see what happens. 🙂

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      • Me too. I would love to help decrease the suffering from toxic chemicals –well I’d like to decrease all suffering — but its a starting place. ❤

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  2. Making mathematics beautiful is an interesting subject, and it’s fascinating to read the words of people like Bertrand Russell, who speak of the beauty of mathematics or even of proofs. One way of making mathematics beautiful is through fractals or symmetric chaos images (see http://math.rice.edu/~mjf8/ag/). The formulas could get hairy for a layperson, but reproducing them could represent a tangible way of viewing mathematical results, although it would help if they had some software that handled a lot of the boilerplate of creating these images or generating the requisite feedback loops.

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    • I mean the kind of beauty that can’t be readily mapped onto 2D or 3D spaces like a lot of functions can (at least with the aid of computers). The appreciation of the beautiful simplicity and elegance of a well-constructed proof or formula or computer algorithm etc. is like appreciating a fine work of art but is hard to explain.

      Thanks for the link – there are some lovely images there.

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      • Point. I wonder if it’s because many people haven’t developed an aesthetic appreciation for the intellectual, or even know if such a thing is possible? Is such an aesthetic subject to training? It would seem to be, if we take art criticism, music appreciation and things like wine tasting seriously…

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      • Very interesting. Hmmm, my first reaction was, yes, it requires training or at least someone to point out that it is possible. Now I’m wondering if the appreciation is a necessary part of developing a passion for something intellectual. Is it necessary to see the beauty in something before you’re willing to put in the work, or does the work give you the appreciation, or do they develop hand-in-hand? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just different for each person.

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  3. So fabulous Sara. I just love this so much. Thank you.

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  4. Reblogged this on Rethinking Life and commented:
    This is a wonderful TED talk. The Arts are always in danger and dismissed because that’s where free spirits and independent thinkers exists. This is an amazing science/dance talk that shows how important the ARTS are. Enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s interesting how beautiful, artistic even, science and math are.

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  6. Doctoral is right, my Dear Sarah! And of the Academic kind, too! Alas, not for me. Too heavy for my Tired brain. But it is Great work from Your part, and hence, my Sincere and Hearty Congratulations to You. As Well as Love and Regards. 🙂

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