Abstract / Synopsis
While the nautilus shell is often represented in popular culture as an example of a golden spiral, according to many mathematicians it is not. In this paper we examine multiple arguments for and against considering the nautilus as a “golden” spiral and offer a semi-structured task that is accessible to middle school students and beyond to begin their own investigation. Our hope is that asking, what would the nautilus say, can serve as a starting point for children and adults alike to push against the walls we so often draw around mathematical questions and begin to see where their creativity takes them as they venture outside of the maths box.
Selbach-Allen, M. E. Williams, C. A. and Boaler, J. "What Would the Nautilus Say? Unleashing Creativity in Mathematics!," Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 10 Issue 2 (July 2020), pages 391-414. DOI: 10.5642/jhummath.202002.18 . Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol10/iss2/18
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