Discovering Patterns in Mathematics and Poetry

Front Cover
You are invited to join a fascinating journey of discovery, as Marcia Birken and Anne C. Coon explore the intersecting patterns of mathematics and poetry -- bringing the two fields together in a new way.
Setting the tone with humor and illustrating each chapter with countless examples, Birken and Coon begin with patterns we can see, hear, and feel and then move to more complex patterns. Number systems and nursery rhymes lead to the Golden Mean and sestinas. Simple patterns of shape introduce tessellations and concrete poetry. Fractal geometry makes fractal poetry possible. Ultimately, patterns for the mind lead to questions: How do mathematicians and poets conceive of proof, paradox, and infinity? What role does analogy play in mathematical discovery and poetic expression?
The book will be of special interest to readers who enjoy looking for connections across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Discovering Patterns in Mathematics and Poetry features centuries of creative work by mathematicians, poets, and artists, including Fibonacci, Albrecht Dürer, M. C. Escher, David Hilbert, Benoit Mandelbrot, William Shakespeare, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Langston Hughes, E.E. Cummings, and many contemporary experimental poets. Original illustrations include digital photographs, mathematical and poetic models, and fractal imagery.
 

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Contents

Introduction
9
Chapter 1 8211 Counting Patterns
15
Chapter 2 8211Counting Patterns Take Form
45
Chapter 3 8211 Patterns of Shape
87
Chapter 4 8211 Fractal Patterns
131
Chapter 5 8211 Patterns for the Mind
169
Chapter 6 8211 Conclusion
193
Bibliography
199
Index
207
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Marcia Birken and Anne C. Coon have collaborated for over twenty years, exploring the connections between mathematics and literature in their research, writing, and team-teaching. The co-authors of numerous scholarly articles and book chapters, they are faculty members at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. Birken is Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematical Sciences, College of Science, and Coon is Sr. Associate Dean and Professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts.