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Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Math and Architecture - Jesse Comes to Visit

This week, Jesse came to our class to teach a whole group lesson on the golden ratio. In case your knowledge of this concept needs refreshing, here is a snip from Wikipedia:

In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to (=) the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.6180339887.[1] Other names frequently used for the golden ratio are the golden section (Latin: sectio aurea) and golden mean.[2][3][4] Other terms encountered include extreme and mean ratio,[5] medial section, divine proportion, divine section (Latin: sectio divina), golden proportion, golden cut,[6] golden number, and mean of Phidias.[7][8][9] The golden ratio is often denoted by the Greek letter phi, usually lower case (φ).

Partners measured each other from the belly button to feet and from head to belly button. Taking these measurements and dividing the larger number by the smaller number, children were pleased to discover that their bodies were very close to the golden ratio!

Jesse then showed examples of architecture where the golden ratio appears. The Great Pyramid in Giza and the Greek Parthenon are two ancient examples. Some modern architecture are also influenced by Golden Ratio as well, such as the United Nations Building.

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