Numbers are beautiful, although many people who are adverse to mathematical skills will dispute this. Demonstrating such beauty can be difficult to put into words, but Touch Press and Profile Books are along with Professor Ian Stewart have created an informative, engaging and beautifully designed app that illustrates this beauty into digestible, understandable models.
Incredible Numbers with Ian Stewart includes a great series of chapters:
- Secret Codes – See how the power of numbers can unlock complexity in codes. Interactive features include a fully-working Enigma Machine that lets you track the way messages are coded and decoded.
- Infinity – Explore infinity and understand what it really means to say something is infinite.
- Factorials! – How many ways can you lace your shoes? If you have four eyelets there are 24 possible lacing styles. With 12 eyelets there are 479,001,600 possibilities. See why this is so in Factorials!
- Nature – See how the Fibonacci sequence appears in the real world in beautiful and surprising ways.
- Music – Music and math share the beauty of finding patterns in complexity. Detailed interactive elements show you how they relate in real, meaningful and fun ways. You can even create your own sound waves to understand how harmonies are created.
- ? – Unwrap the mysteries of ? to see why it’s so important (and why it’s not just about circles).
- Polygons – Get to grips with shapes and polygons and see the first animated visual proof of Gaus’ heptadecagon.
- Primes – Discover the mysterious patterns in prime numbers and see how difficult they are to predict.
Professor Stewart commented, at launch…
[pullquote]Because you are seeing it happening in front of your eyes, you can concentrate on the mathematical patterns and on the numbers.[/pullquote]“I wanted to make an app about mathematics because with an app you can do things you just can’t do in a book. Because you are seeing it happening in front of your eyes, you can concentrate on the mathematical patterns and on the numbers. You don’t have to do the work yourself and you can get this experience of suddenly realising how some piece of mathematics fits together.”
What UKEdChat Thinks?
This is a beautifully designed and well-thought app which certainly explains various mathematical concepts in a considered, engaging and attractive method. Within education, it sits perfectly for those students who don’t really ‘get’ maths, or don’t see the point. The demonstrations and interactivity help explain how mathematics is used in everyday life, and the music element of the app was certainly a success when we reviewed it with students.
Incredible Numbers by Professor Ian Stewart, By Touch Press, is priced at £6.99*, available for iPad (Requires iOS 7.0 or later – Compatible with iPad only) by clicking here, or click the App Store icon below.
Screenshots taken from the app:
*Price correct at date of publication, and is subject to change.