A thumbnail catalogue of current designs and colour variants – click on an illustration for a larger version. Click on a section heading to see background information for that particular design.
Drawing a diagram of an algebraic multiplication can often demystify the process.
This simple, elegant design illustrates a crucial and revolutionary discovery in mathematics – the derivative and its close cousin, the infinitesimal calculus.
Golden ratio circles
Another example of a design springing from my fascination with the Fibonacci series. In a simple design which can be created using nothing more that a ruler and compass, we explore strange values like the square root of 5 and the legendary ‘golden ratio’.
One ring to rule them all
Draw three points on a piece of paper. How many circles can you draw which take in all three points. One, and one only. And this design illustrates why.
This design is a little bit of fun but it also has serious purpose. It shows that the use of simple diagrams can help to clarify an idea that words have confused. They could be described as Venn diagrams except that they are so simple that they make no real use of the special qualities of John Venn’s invention, which dates from the 1880s.
It also serves to illustrate the way the vital word ‘if’ is used in mathematical thinking.
A few lines on a piece of paper and a needle are enough to begin calculating the mysterious value ‘pi’.
Patterning prime numbers, the building blocks on which all other numbers are based.
Another in the series exploring different ways of presenting prime numbers visually.
For many years I found those curves that appeared on the old oscilloscopes a slippery thing. How were they ‘sine waves’ and what on earth did it mean when people said that two wave forms were ’90 degrees out of phase’.
It helped when it first dawned on me what simple concepts sines and cosines actually were. But still… ’90 degrees out of phase’?
So I like this design for its liveliness, for the neatness of the concept embodied in the small icons and, not least, because when I look at it sets my mind at rest.
When something is widely used, often in dense and complex expressions, it can be easy to forget that it’s actually very simple. So it is with sines and cosines
Demystifying square numbers.