If math would be a color, shape, and sound. What would it be?If math would be a color, shape, and sound. What would it be?

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This is a very intriguing question that offers the student the opportunity to really think "outside the box."  But, it is also a subjective question that prompts the creative and emotional side of the learner.  So, the student should really examine how he/she feels when thinking about math, performing math problems, and/or examining a mathematical problem.

Interestingly, the French Impressionist artist, Georges Seurat, contended that all objects in the world can be depicted mathematically; thus, he felt that art involved mathematics.  His pointilism style, of course, affirms this as he employed geometric shapes in much of his work.  His major work, Sunday Afternoon on the Grande Jatte, for instance, is a large composition arranged mathematically for balance and with complementary colors juxtaposed next to each other to create another color.

With Seurat's compositions in mind, therefore, a student may see math as the composition of many colors that form one color in the mind of the viewer along with one geometric shape which actually contains many smaller shapes within itself.  For example, it may be a rectangular shape such as Seurat's painting that houses cylinders, ovals, and circles.

philiostratus's profile pic

philiostratus | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

This question intrigues me because each component we are asked to use to describe mathematics (color, shape and sound) is actually determined by math...

Color is defined by the wavelength in the light spectrum (even beyond the range visible to the human eye).  Shapes are described with mathematical formula (sphere, cube, triangle, etc). Sound, also, is defined by the frequency of the sound waves themselves. 

Dare we conclude, then, that the answer to the original question is their infinite variety?  I believe so.  Each color, each shape and each sound is the product of mathematics itself and therefore can not contain the entirety of mathematics.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This question is really interesting actually, and is a thinker too.

Firstly i think it would be grey, as plain and simple, black and white, with only one answer to the question. Also math can be seen by many as being dull.

If it was a shape i would say it would be a circle, as math never ends and you often come back to the same point.

If it were a sound, now this one is much more tricky. I would say it would have to be a low hum noise, something that gets under your skin but is also very very consistent and dull.

Funny, I had a very similar picture.  A gray circle.  Gray is made up of black and white.  Much of mathematics is very black and white, with only one correct answer.  On the other hand, there are many unanswered questions in mathematics, which would be the gray area to me.

The circle seemed obvious, but as for the noise, I hear a symphony.  Something intricate but linear.  I don't like math, but I don't hear it as an unpleasant sound.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

For me, math would be a smoldering swirl of crimson and black. That's because my mind must allow the information time to simmer in my mind until it has determined how to solve the problem. While I do enjoy working on math, I am terribly slow at it. At any given time the smoldering substance of math can ignite into an inferno of rage at my inability to solve the problem correctly or a blazing glow that comforts me with the warmth of success when I solve a problem correctly. And oh yeah, the sound would probably be Handel's Messiah.

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I agree with pohnpei in that it should be white noise because of the difficulty some of us have understanding math. As far as the shape of math I would say it is a cube, because it is so multi dimensional. as for a sound I would say a bell ringing, because when we do finally understand a concept it is like a bell going off in our heads.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It should be white noise -- static.  That's because it's so hard to understand.  So that's what I'd use for math at least once you get to the level of calculus.

Before that, maybe it could be a nice, clear, bell.  That's because it is sharp and clear.  There are not gray areas like there are in history and other subjects like that.

etotheeyepi's profile pic

etotheeyepi | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

Because math is imaginary, it could be indigo, the color that Newton added to the rainbow.

Math can be any color other than black or white because only the answers are black or white.

Math could be chocolate. I'd rather be in chocolate than in love.

But math should totally be pink with sprinkles to match my manicure.

 

 

mikeydees's profile pic

mikeydees | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Actually, this kind of question is what is wrong with education today.  Math is Math.  Chinese people can do math well.  We suck. Our kids are losing the education game and countries we used to beat easily are winning now.  Stop asking BS questions and teach math.  Don't use math questions for social engineering.

moocow554's profile pic

moocow554 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

Whatever your mind wants it to be. Its up to you and your understanding of math. i agree with Pohnpei!!

the-judge's profile pic

the-judge | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

This question is really interesting actually, and is a thinker too.

Firstly i think it would be grey, as plain and simple, black and white, with only one answer to the question. Also math can be seen by many as being dull.

If it was a shape i would say it would be a circle, as math never ends and you often come back to the same point.

If it were a sound, now this one is much more tricky. I would say it would have to be a low hum noise, something that gets under your skin but is also very very consistent and dull.

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