Mathematic Beauty

by Dave Sikkema

“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music.”Betrand Russell

As a 4th grade teacher in a Christian and classical school my job is to help students appreciate what is good, true, and beautiful about the world around them.  Naturally, most kids find the good, the true, and the beautiful in more popular subjects such as art and music (and, somehow P.E. and recess..) but they seem to find only the devil in long division and 3-digit multiplication.

Math, in their eyes, is a product of the Fall.  This is evident when they ask, through tears mostly, “Mr. Sikkema, why do I even need to know this!?” It seems to me they are really wondering, “What do all these numbers, and mathematical processes have to do with reality?”

This short video reminded me this morning that numbers have everything to do with reality.  Math is one of the many languages of God, and it offers a structure that is both good and true for the beauty we see around us.


Dave Sikkema is a 4th grade teacher at Regents School of Austin. This post was originally published on his blog “Backwards with Time” and is shared here with permission.


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