Week 5- Midterm Post- Diar Nejadeh

Art and science, two seemingly separate cultures that tend to attract completely different types of people with different attitudes, personalities and goals, are connected more closely than one would think. Art draws its origins from the caves of Lascaux in modern-day France, and has been closely tied to science at the very beginning of its existence. Cavemen who are credited for the creation of the very first art pieces did nothing more but record their observations about the environment and the world they were sharing with other living species. Similarly, science is but a set of documented events in history, set of recordings that tells stories about the natural world around us, explains causes of the past and predicts the future. Even though most of the student population views the art and science in two separate, different lights, one finds numerous examples in history where art and science have worked side-by-side, and sometimes coexisted in a single individual.

Perhaps the best example of this notion that art and science come from and follow the same principles and can even be bound into a single entity comes from the great Leonardo Da Vinci, who was both one of the world’s greatest artists and scientists. He was a visionary who, even though locked in the darkness of the 15th century, dared to dream what seemed impossible to the mankind at the time. He envisioned the first flying machine, a modern marvel that would not see the light of day for more than four hundred years after his death. He was also one of the pioneers of medicine in the western world, contributing to the medical science by numerous sketches and works on the topic of anatomy. Yet, despite his brilliant scientific work, he was most famous for his art, which was the only thing more fascinating than his science and remains unmatched by any artist that followed Leonardo’s era.

The sole catalyst in blending art and science together is mathematics and the perspective of time and space surrounding us. When discussing, evaluating and analyzing art, we cannot help but resort to notions of perspective, depth, lighting, shadows and all the elements that ought to make the particular piece of art as realistic as possible. Mathematics is even more involved in a very special discipline of art that is very popular today, computer graphics. This branch of art relies almost completely on linear algebra. Mathematics does not only represent the driving force for computer graphics, but it is also the fundamentals of engineering. It is mathematics that transforms concepts and designs into actual products of the industrial world. It is the mathematical theory of computation that gave birth to the discipline of robotics, and scientists with a focus in artificial intelligence today pay all their attention to the mathematical and scientific foundation of future robots as well as how to incorporate them with the exterior of the machines, all in effort to make them as human-like as possible.

 Today, the combination of science and art comes together in force to better our health, as we are developing new techniques for remote surgery that is based on high precision and life-like representations of the data collected at the distant ends of the world. And today, as we watch our space probes carrying the message of peace and Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man drift to outer space, we witness Leonardo’s science, medical work and art blending into a single message of hope of universal peace as we relentlessly continue our search for other civilizations and cultures in this vast universe.

The presentation about “The Envisonment Center” is also depicting the perfect blend of art and science, working together in effort to improve the quality of particular societal niches. The creativity of people, coupled with modern science and technology emerges as the best solution for problems of the modern world. We need both scientific precision and artistic ingenuity to ensure clean energy and to reduce current pollution that is driving our world into peril. Modeling the ideas coming from the community, as well as simulations of potential solutions in future, urban planning must relay on mathematics and scientific reasoning. Special attention must be paid to the compatibility of new urban centers with much needed cheap, green energy that is needed for a sustainable and healthy environment. Therefore, no projects should be approved and implemented unless proven to be harmless to the community they are being designed for. The industrial age has taught us that large systems perform best when clustered into smaller subsystems that work independently and connect only on well-designed interfaces, and this is why “The Envisonment Center” will separate its problem-solving factory into scientific, mathematical and artistic subsystem. This separation is, of course, only superficial, and both cultures of art and science, as well as mathematics and the concern for human well-being, are in the end again joined together in yet another effort of mankind, to make this world and its communities a better living place.

 

 

- Diar Nejadeh

 

 


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