|a film for maths geeks
||[28th Dec. 2008|18:05]
I recall being shown this film at primary school at about age six. As a budding maths geek, it positively captivated me.
The film was made in 1956 by Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart for Canada's National Film Board. McLaren, a Scottish-born Canadian, pioneered the use of stop-motion animation of abstract shapes synchronised with sound, using the same technique adopted 25 years later by Rod Lord for his seminal work in producing the animated book sequences in The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy BBC Television series.
In early 2001, I purchased from the NFB a copy of Rythmetic on videotape. However, it was not until this month that I had dug out my VCR and transcoded the video to digital form. The result of this encoding is below. Given that the original is a publicly-owned work, I see no reason it should not be made available.
Update: This is the high-quality encoding. It is much superior.
The official page on this video contains interesting information, including production photographs showing Mr McLaren creating the animation.
2008-12-28 22:52 (UTC)
Hey, you say 'maths' and not 'math'. Yay!
Of course I do. I'm not a barbarian, you know! :)
I love maths, you know where you stand with it. Unlike English, I was always crap at that.
I always enjoyed English classes. Generally the teacher would assign a book to be read and I would finish it that evening, leaving me with nothing more to do for the next month. But I tended to get low marks on my term papers, because I would write my own ideas rather than try to guess at what the teachers wanted. In general, I did much better in classes where there were right and wrong answers.
What's your favourite part of maths? I always liked pythagoras and trigonometry. I'm quite fond of simultaneous equations and quadratics as well.
I do love trigonometry because of its elegance, and the way it subtly worms its way into nearly every other branch of maths. I remember encountering the famous equality eπi = -1 and being obsessed with understanding why. I liked calculus but found it a bit of a letdown (and still do). My favourite class of all was linear algebra, it was like six months of talking directly to God.
I also enjoy but to a lesser degree the branches of mathematics with practical application in computer science (which is what my degree is in), such as number theory, domain theory, algorithmics, and computability.
I don't think I've ever seen this, but I'm glad it exists !