Flowers as Emanations from an Ideal World
WHEN daisies pied and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight . . .
The beauty of spring is like the beauty of mathematics.
Mathematicians speak of the beauty of mathematics.
But those who use math only to calculate, or only to follow a procedure to get the “right answer” on a test, see no beauty because they see no structure.
A mathematician lives in a beautiful world unseen by the non-mathematical.
My friend from Carnegie-Mellon University, Petros Hadjicostas, who has advanced the world’s knowledge of mathematics by conjecturing a formula known as the Hadjicostas formula, showed me this beautiful world, one day in a college dorm.
It is a world of flowers as lovely as any in a springtime field.
The structures of flowers appear in mathematics, such as in the Mandelbrot set. This suggests that the beauty of flowers is an emanation from deep structure, from an ideal world where the Hadjicostas Formula will eternally be true, even after the end of the universe.
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Orlando Bartro is the author of Toward Two Words, a comical novel about a man who finds yet another woman he never knew, available at Amazon. He is currently writing two new novels.