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Decoding Arts and Rhythms in Math

November 24, 2014

Science does matter in arts and literature. And,this year’s Hay Fest did try to establish this. There was an attempt to find art in mathematics as well. This year’s Hay Fest featured Math professor Marcus du Sautoy and legendary Stephen Hawking’s daughter Lucy Hawking who also writes for kids and children. Both of them have significant works that popularize science and mathematics. Hay Festival did a great job by inviting them to Bangladesh and creating an opportunity to know their works.

Science Matters

Science Matters

On day 2, the two joined with our celebrity Muhammad Zafar Iqbal sir and economist Hossain Zillur Rahman in a panel discussion. The auditorium was teemed with people, particularly the young students magnetized by Zafar sir. Zafar sir shared a secret— why and when he started writing science literature. Back in the 80’s, he had got the prestigious Bangla Academy award for science literature, an arena where he stepped in much later. He felt ashamed to have got the award and started writing science literature to prove he deserved it.

Science Matters

Science Matters

Marcus, a die-hard fan of Arsenal, gave example of the path of a football kicked into the air in relation to quadratic equation. To explain how a resource-strapped country’s science fair looks like, Hossain Zillur Rahman told the story of a little boy who demonstrated how a lizard goes up and down on a perpendicular wall at a science fair in Chittagong. All the discussants using anecdotes introduced paranormal science, sixth sense etc and entertained the audience with the funny side of science. The discussion was followed by a lively and enthusiastic Q&A session. The younger audience could not help themselves asking questions to the panelists. Hay Fest was indeed successful in bringing so many curious minds to the event and igniting their curiosity. On day 3, Marcus and Safi Khan discussed on the link between mathematics and arts and literature in the session ‘The Art of Maths/The Maths of Art’.

The Art of Maths/The Maths of Art

The Art of Maths/The Maths of Art

It was a mind-blowing session though I had difficulty to grasp the relation between music and Maths as I have very little knowledge on music. Marcus brilliantly talked at length the influence of Fibonacci number in literature, Math behind Corbusier’s architecture, Golden Ratio, 12-point scale and its relation with math. The fascinating world would have remained unexplored if I had not attended the session.

The Art of Maths/The Maths of Art

The Art of Maths/The Maths of Art

The bonus is everyone attended the session now can write his or her own fib, a poem based on Fibonacci sequence. Marcus recited his fib for Hay Fest:”Hay/Hay/Dhaka/Bangladesh/Traffic and rickshaws,/Great books, students, selfies, parties/ are the memories I will take from your festival.” It was a brilliant session for math lovers, Math Olympiad organizers and young minds. Cosmic tent where the session took place was swarmed with people of all ages, students and their parents.If Hay Fest is about connecting people and igniting curiosity, then the session was a complete success.

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