Friday, April 17, 2009

Fractals and their connection to education

I've never really liked math--learning it or teaching it, but I find that as I get older, I am beginning to appreciate it as God's language of order. I've especially become fascinated by fractals. For those unfamiliar with fractals, they are (in non-math language) the geomentry of nature. For centries, man has thought of geometry as circles, squares, and other man made shapes such as cubes. Our buildings, etc. can be expressed as mathmatical formulas. It was always thought that nature, on the other hand, was wild and chaotic and random. Scientists and mathematicians have now discovered, however, that even nature has a pattern. When the random chaotic points and lines of nature are put into a computer, amazing patterns within patterns appear that are precise and infinite! Now if that isn't evidence for a good, eternal, and orderly God, I don't know what is!
It has also been discovered that when we pattern our technological devices after fractals, they become more efficient than when we use basic geometrical shapes. This is what enables tiny devices in cells phones and computers to work so well at such a small level. This got me to thinking. . . what if I structured and organized a curriculum according to a fractal-like pattern? Is it possible? Would that make it more efficient and cause the connections in the human brain to retain information more effectively? Mmmmm. . . .now only if I were a mathematician. . .

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