The Most Beautiful Equation

This class has passed
This class has passed

What’s it all about?

If a maths teacher ever told you that equations can be beautiful, the response was always ‘do you have a girlfriend, sir?’

Nothing wrong there – that’s the natural order of things. But have you ever since wondered what they could see where you could see just letters and symbols? How they could liken a great equation to a timeless poem or a renaissance masterpiece?

In this class, we will explore the idea of beauty in maths by looking at what has been voted (on several occasions) ‘the most beautiful equation’.

What will we cover?

The equation in question is called Euler’s formula, and it relates five fundamental numbers: zero, one, e, i and pi. After looking at some colourful quotes and examples that describe the idea of beauty in maths, we will take time to cover each of those fundamental numbers in turn, asking what they mean and where they came from.

Then, in a tremendous finale, we will discuss the relationship that ties them all together: e to the i pi plus one equals zero. If by that point you don’t see the beauty behind the letters and symbols, well, maybe you never will.

Who will be teaching?

Tom Ding studied maths at university in the UK before heading off around the world as part of the heady world of mad men. A strategist for an advertising agency by day, he runs Laneway Learning by night, and when he properly grows up, he would love to be a maths teacher.