I’m a children’s book writer and illustrator, and I want to to create a book for young readers that exposes the beauty of mathematics. I recently read Paul Lockhart’s essay “The Mathematician’s Lament,” and found that I, too, lament the uninspiring quality of my elementary math education.
I want to make a book that discredits the notion that math is merely a series of calculations, and inspires a sense of awe and genuine curiosity in young readers.
However, I myself am mathematically unsophisticated.
What was the first bit of mathematics that made you realize that math is beautiful?
For the purposes of this children’s book, accessible answers would be appreciated.
This wasn’t the first, but it’s definitely awesome:
This is a proof of the Pythagorean theorem, and it uses no words!