Mathematics is all about... ?

In elementary school, I was under the impression that math was all about NUMBERS. Before 7th grade, I was thinking that there couldn't be much more math since we seemed to be doing the same things over again (spiraling curriculum).

After that, the math I was learning seemed to be all LETTERS: x's, y's, a's, b's, f's etc. And soon it was Greek letters too!

But math is actually neither. Math is all about PATTERNS.

The whole structure of our base-10 number system is a certain pattern. Multiplication, division, etc. are full of patterns to notice. Functions and relations are all about making general rules for patterns.

When first learning about sine in right triangle, it may seem to students like a disjointed piece of information - but if they could get past the initial stage and see the sine curve! Patterns!

almond tree
But I especially wanted to mention trees, ferns, coastlines, snowflakes, and such. Because they have a pattern too, and mathematicians have unveiled the mathematical laws governing them. Those nature objects are fractal-like.

Check this introduction to fractals or fractal lessons for middle school to learn a little bit. Then go check some nature fractals.

I love it when natural beauty and mathematics connect.
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