Math and its way of making meaning and beauty

i had a great day listening to fidel nemenzo and his lecture in mathematics. fidel is the handsome son of princess ronquillo and dodong nememzo, and the husband of marivic raquiza. he is a mathematician and who, i regard grew up as a genius (though his family doesnt flaunt it).

what did i learn from fidel that i did not learn in all my studies in math? first, i got excited with math and overcame my fear of math ( i flunked my trigonometry and barely passed my calculus in college). then i saw all the beautiful applications of math in nature, in our thought patterns, in studying change and in understanding nature. the exciting part are the patterns in nature, in snowflakes, sand dunes, stars, invisible garments and buildings that fidel showed in his slides to illustrate the symmetry and beauty of math.

fidel developed his lecture in five queries : what is math? what does math do? what is its messages? what are the stories that mathematicians love to share ? what is math’s role in relation to our world ? since fidel promised to upload his lecture, i will focus on my own questions and stories. since the focus is math and meaning, i shall take mercy fabros’ query on how women can tap its power.

if math is a science for developing beauty and symmetry in the real world , how much energy can math develop to make women build an equitable relationship with men? fidel said that mathematicians help build better communication technology – like the binary numbers and algorithms of the internet and sms. if we are interconnected because of the application of math, can we have peace and justice encrypted in our daily chat?

all the math genuises that fidel talked about : paul erdos, kurt godel, janos bolyai, grigory perelman, even srinivasa ramanujan – were all men who solved math puzzles but did not make this world better for women. he did mention a woman scientist but her name i cannot remember at this moment, though he said she learned her math by listening behind a door. aha! that woman should win all our admiration!

if ideas in math go beyond what we can perceive/observe in reality, can we imagine through math what a wonderful world our people can collaborate in ? can we use the non-euclidean math to create sanctuaries for our children so that they will be free of violence? can we use hyperbolic formulas to save our forests and seas from waste and plunder?can we simplify the power of politicians to recycling shit for organic farming?

the invisible garments (you see people behind you because the dress reflects the light round it) that is now being developed may be useful to women who need to protect themselves from rape and assault.

think of all the advantages of 4 dimensional networks to migrants who want to become citizens in their work places and help their families become members of democratic communities. fidel said that we only imagine 3 dimensional items but math can create 4 dimensional networks.

my imagination have started to go beyond arithmetic and geometry. thanks to fidel, i shall use mathematics to develop a love for patterns and processes in making babaylanship relevant to our young citizens.

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