The Synergistic Dynamics of Art, Mathematics, & Science
An Interdisciplinary Project at Stowe Middle School
[&copyFrederick David Abraham, project contributors, and sources]

Project Objectives

The goal is to create a project in which we can combine the mathematics of dynamical systems theory (also called "dynamics" or "chaos theory"), art, and other disciplines to become motivated and educated to learn science. The venue for doing this is as an enrichment course within the Stowe Middle School, but instead of a course in the traditional sense of a teacher with students, it is more of a cooperative effort to produce an interactive artisitc-educational exhibit for the Helen Day Art Center, which will serve as an educational model for others to use as well: visitors to the exhibit, community courses, a portable version to carry into other schools, virtual users of it as a cyberproject available at this web site.

Thus one of the immediate goals is to create a science exhibit for the Helen Day Art Center as a real and a virtual exhibit. The real exhibit will consist of art on the plane (pictures), in 3D (kinetic sculptures), and as interactive activities with a computer. The virtual exhibit will consist of the representation of that exhibit on this web site. This project is to be done by a variety of contributors from the community (global and local), and from schools (ours, and those in other nations). We have already collected some materials from the web, and will explore more. Students and friends have already written some computer programs. But we, here in the Stowe Middle School will do most of the exhibits, and the project will revolve around our efforts. We have a school in the Philippines and one in Russia to collaborate with us, which makes this project a global as well as local cooperative effort.

We will start with considering how patterns can be created, and we will start with a pattern called the spiral. This project on the spiral will consist of figuring how we can draw sprials, how mathematics can draw spirals, and how nature draws spirals. We will also do psychological research to see what makes them beautiful. And we will consider what all these things (beauty, mathematics, and nature) have to do with each other. This dynamical mathematics, art, and science (the careful investigation of nature) are visual and intuitive. They are easy and fun. They include fractal methods and art, which can be very beautiful (see examples of six fractal spirals).

Created: 12/19/96 Updated: 12/29/96:2/26/2010