Welcome, Members of Parliament

Welcome, Members of Parliament. This blog is designed to act as a student forum for anyone enrolled in my classes at a Dallas-area proprietary college, former students, and/or others who find our conversations interesting. The Parliament will be moderated to ensure civility and relevance. The directions we take, the paths we follow, and the concerns we address are all up to you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Geometry, Art, Pi, and Pie

Now that the faithful are hung over from Mardi Gras, and walking around with ashes on their foreheads, I thought I might introduce another holiday that won't require breaking any Lenten Fasts: Pi day, March 14 (3.14). Here's hoping you haven't given up pie for Lent.

I'm fond of pimping general studies classes of any variety, not just my own, so I pay attention to my monthly newsletters from the Annenberg folks (the ones who bring us Invitation to World Literature and Art Through Time). They have a nifty website on math in the real world: Math in Daily Life, with interactive pages designed for school-age kids. Let's face it, though; most of us have forgotten what we learned about math anyway--even if you managed to squeak through College Algebra or Creative Geometry just last quarter. If you're unclear on the notion of pi, check out the page on that. There's even a segment on math and interior decorating and another on cooking.

If you think math is essentially irrelevant to artists, consider the importance of geometry in art and architecture, explored in this unit from a course on the topic at Dartmouth: The Circle, The Wheel of Fortune, and the Rose Window. The image that opens this post is the south transept Rose Window from St. Denis (via Wikimedia Commons). Some of you may remember (depending on how you spent Fat Tuesday) that we've recently visited St. Denis in History of Art & Design I.

Google even gets in on the fun (this is from last year):

If you still don't believe me, and won't until you see actual proof that such a holiday exists, there is also a Wikipedia page.

I especially love this tee-shirt I pinched from Wikimedia Commons; you can find it and other appropriate festive attire at Thinkgeek.com.

Unfortunately, Pi Day falls on a Monday this year (I'm not on campus Mondays), so I won't be bringing pie to class. You'll have to wait for cookies on finals day.

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