The Beauty of Mathematics (and students teaching students)

One of my very favorite activities this semester was a series of three “fireside chats,” on “The Beauty of Mathematics,” offered by second-year MALD student, Abhishek Maity (who credited Professor Kim Wilson for the idea).  Inviting students to “geek out on mathematics,” the three sessions covered fractals, the mysteries of the infinite, and “what is reality.”  Invitations to the sessions noted, “We spend a lot of time discussing moral and ethical questions at The Fletcher School, so take some time to explore wider philosophical ideas of nature, art, and mathematics.  No knowledge of mathematics required.”

The three sessions drew between 40 and 60 students each.  An astounding total for an event that would ask students, already busy with their own academic activities, to delve into challenging material on another field.  Sure, pizza was offered, but pizza can be found in many places, whereas a student-led discussion of advanced mathematics was offered on only three fall dates.

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