The First Time I Experienced It
I was 32 years old the first time I saw math as beautiful! I was in a university master’s course, and our professor gave us a long strip of paper and told us to fold it in half and see what happens. As the strip of paper was folded and reopened, patterns emerged that awakened my imagination. What would happen if I kept folding? What would the next shape look like? How is this math? Where are the steps to follow? Who is going to show me what to do? I realized during this exploration that it was the first time that I was put into a learning position where I got to be a mathematician. What if I folded the piece of paper a different way? There were so many things to think about and to see, so many questions to ask, so many ideas to explore. Math became alive, it became visual, and it became beautiful! I got lost in the experience for hours, and there was something about it that kept me coming back to it and wanting to learn more.
Want to experience it too?
My dream is to share the beauty and joy of math with the children and inner children of adults all over the world. I want everyone to see that math is so much more than memorizing times tables and dividing decimals. I want them to see that everyone can learn math and explore problems. I want them to see math as being visual, joyful and empowering. I am so excited to share my new book, The Dragon Curve: A Magical Math Journey. Starting with a piece of paper found on the ground, Aiyana folds her way into the world of fractals. The book will lead you through the same fractal exploration I did in my university course. All you need is a long, skinny piece of paper (a piece of till tape or multiple strips of paper taped together) and a sense of wonder!
Learn and Explore More
I became enthralled by the Dragon Curve! There is so much more to see and appreciate. Check out these fantastic links:
I love this animation to music to visualize the making of the Dragon Curve:
Vi Hart shows how to doodle the Dragon Curve in this fun and entertaining video:
This link is an excellent explanation of the Dragon Curve:
Here is a link on how you can draw your own Dragon Curve:
Here is a link with great pictures to help fold your Dragon Curves to make your own art: