The golden ratio is greatly hyped, partly for its beautiful mathematical properties but also for nonsensical reasons. Distinguishing between the two requires understanding that mathematics is about structures and relationships, not just numbers in isolation.
The elliptic hyperboloid is a beautiful quadratic surface that is “doubly ruled,” meaning that the surface, although curved, contains two straight lines through each point.
How do long sword dances produce stable patterns of interwoven segments? What are the possible variations? Explore the mathematics of this traditional art form.
Why does a mixture of sand and colored sugar spontaneously separate when poured?
If you pull straight back on the lower pedal of your bicycle, will the bike move forward or backward? This classic puzzle has a surprising twist.
Change ringing, in which a band of ringers plays long sequences of permutations on a set of peal bells, is a little-known but surprisingly rich and beautiful acoustical application of mathematics.