Symmetries, the Fibonacci sequence, the Golden Mean, and fractals emerge over and over again in plants, animals, crystals, coastlines, religion, art, architecture, music, literature, and economics, etc. Noticing and replicating nature’s recurring patterns have fascinated humans for millennia. Through curated readings, videos, independent research, fieldwork, discussion, creative and geometrical exploration students will learn to identify, understand, and create these types of patterns. When beginning to recognize the symmetries, ratios, and structural patterns that show up again and again, it is hard to not start wondering “why?” The recurrence of these themes imbues a timeless, sacred quality that begs the question, “What do they mean?” This class delves deeper into mysteries that underlie these emergent patterns–cymatics, chaos, and complexity. In the company of other explorers, each bringing their own creativity and expertise to the conversation, we ponder the significance of these patterns in dialog with history and science.
Who is this class for?
I often describe this class as math for the math-traumatized 🙂 . But it is also great for: creative types looking for new angles, for people who want to “get” all the cool math memes floating around, for people who want to make math more fun for the youngsters in their lives, or math-o-philes who can’t get enough of these infinite rabbit holes.
This curiosity-led course meets you where you’re at. It is built to meet the needs of a wide variety of mathematical backgrounds. I present various mathematical manifestations surrounding central themes to perk your curiosity. You pick the ones that grab you and run with them. You report back and we all learn from one another.
For the math traumatized: This is about resetting your emotional relationship with math. This is about developing a feeling of empowerment to tackle math whenever it shows up, rather than freezing or panicking. We honor the pain of our historical relationships with math: feeling “dumb,” being told “you’re not a math person,” limited teaching modalities, memorization without context, moving too fast, the “not enough,” etc. We open with meditations. We learn to relax. We start with appreciation. We marvel at the intelligence of the natural world. We get the gist, get curious, then we gradually fill in layers of more detailed understanding. Then the universe opens before us, excited to be seen in a new way.
Kerri Welch, Ph.D. has offered this curiosity-led, project-based approach to math at the university level for 10 years. She holds a doctorate in Philosophy and Religion from California Institute of Integral Studies and specializes in Philosophy of Time, Mind, and Physics. In addition to teaching, she is a writer and astrologer. She is the author of A Fractal Topology of Time: Deepening into Timelessness.
May 22 (New Moon) – Aug 3 (Full Moon)
The course is offered via Canvas’s online classroom. It consists of 5 two-week modules: Symmetry, Fibonacci, Fractals, Chaos and Complexity, Final Projects. The first four modules each contain a one-hour lecture and a curated selection of readings, videos, and suggested activities to be accessed at your convenience. Each module has a discussion thread where everyone posts their explorations, thoughts, discoveries, questions, and responses. Each person has the opportunity to choose a check-in buddy to have a live conversation with each week.
In the final module students develop a creative project based on a mathematical principle that sparked their curiosity and present their creations via video. Examples include – painting, photography, clothing making, musical composition, instrument building, choreography, poetry, origami, etc. Pick your passion or explore a new one! This class is an opportunity to play, create, and deepen into these mysteries in the company of other creative explorers.
The course is asynchronous, meaning everyone accesses the material and contributes to the conversation at their convenience, within the basic weekly rhythm of the course. The one exception to the asynchronous nature of the course is the final class, a live video conference.
What Students Say:
“I wish I would have learned math this way ages ago!”
“I’m sharing this with my friends and family!”
“I see the world in a whole new way!”
“I definitely feel that I have a deeper understanding of the universe. Geometry feels like a language of the universe talking to us, begging us to understand just how connected everything is… I will take this understanding with me and never look at the universe in the same way.”
“This course has expanded my mind into seeing how much mathematics are literally everywhere, within nature, patterns, cycles. I think it really just shifted my perspective to not just see math as formulas to memorize yet rather to be mesmerized with in its omnipresence and beauty. My relationship to math is much more playful and based in curiosity now!”
“I have a whole new appreciation for geometry; I think it is beautiful and inspirational. I would love to go back in time and retake that high school class with the understanding that I now have about geometry. I believe that this type of learning about math would be so beneficial to younger students. The benefits of this would be exponential.”
“I was always someone who abhorred “on-line” learning. The amount of effort you have put into your comments, suggestions, and critiques has completely changed my opinions. I never thought I would be someone who could really “learn” this way. I just wanted to send my thanks, gratitude, and appreciation. You have forever changed my perceptions and I continually look forward to all of the Canvas posts!”
“Wow! No more “black hole,” and no more numbing anxiety re: math. I feel more comfortable, even have some confidence around the concepts and sharing resources from class with friends who I’ve always thought of as “math people” (including my sister and brother-in-law).”
“This course has been truly transformational for me. My relationship went from being afraid and basically almost paralyzed by math to deeply fascinated, curious and inquisitive about it.”
“I do feel like my relationship to math has changed. I have made peace with it. I experienced joy in figuring out some complex ideas and really grasping the concepts. I was able to talk about math with people, which is a sign of true understanding. I really enjoyed how the material was presented, through your lectures Kerri, and also the text and the videos you chose. I’ve pulled out the textbook several times to show things to people! I wish I could of been in this class in High School, I think it would of really altered my path.”
“I don’t think about “math” as math anymore. It’s much greater than numbers and equations. Math has become a tangible, philosophical, applicable, living, breathing phenomenon. Using nature as our starting point to explore symmetry, Fibonacci, chaos, golden mean concepts, etc.. helped me gain more circular understanding of all the interconnections and intersections across different aspects and relationships in life. Math is now a fun, creative, intricate, lens into my interests! I feel less intimidated now and eager to keep exploring these concepts elsewhere.”
“I feel happy to say that I feel more connected to math in a meaningful way than before. Although the arithmetic, and equations remain difficult for me, the class helped me to deepen my appreciation of the beauty and importance of math, as well as see how it is relevant in topics which are of great interest to me.
“I feel that I was able to bring a level of awareness to my frustration which also aided in my being able to get through the difficult portions of the class. I have not lost my fear of math, but I have gained a great deal of respect, appreciation, and curiosity that I knew was there latently, but which I’d never had the opportunity to deepen.”
University students pay $2,500 for this 3-credit course. Now, it is available to you at a deep discount. You get the comradery and accountability of community, and instructor feedback, without the pressure of grades. There are only 20 spots available. We have an core group of awesome folks signed up and a few would just add to the richness.
From May 15 – 19, if you and a buddy sign up together, you each get in at a discounted rate!
This class is best in a community of explorers,
but if you just want the materials, you can access them alone for $236.
Bonus points if you recognize the math patterns in the pricing…
by the end of the class you will!
hours minutes seconds
Days till the course starts!