A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe

The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science

Michael S. Schneider



Looking for ways to share the glorious beauty of mathematics with your students? Or to inspire yourself with the wonder of creation? This is your book.

Michael Schneider leads us on a spectacular, lavishly illustrated journey along the numbers one through ten to explore the mathematical principles made visible in flowers, shells, crystals, plants, and the human body, expressed in the symbolic language of folk sayings and fairy tales, myth and religion, art and architecture. Here is a comprehensive guide to the patterns that recur throughout the universe and underlie human affairs.

Among the many things you will see and learn are:

  • Why cans, pizza, and manhole covers are round.
  • Why one and two weren’t considered numbers by the ancient Greeks.
  • Why squares show up so often in goddess art and board games.
  • What property makes the spiral the most widespread shape in nature, from embryos and hair curls to hurricanes and galaxies.
  • How the human body shares the design of a bean plant and the solar system.
  • How a snowflake is like Stonehenge, and a beehive like a calendar.
  • How our ten fingers hold the secrets of both a lobster and a cathedral.

And there’s much, much more. This is a resource you’ll turn to again and again – a dazzling revelation of the beauty of creation.

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