Archive for December 2008


December 14, 2008

This is a bit of a difficult one to express.

I will make random statements here but they will be relevant to the main title in some form or another so bear with me.

In my first tutorial with Andy (Course Leader) I was encouraged to express and relate to my religious and cultural background within my project. At first I didn’t think I would do this and definately not in an obvious way. I wanted the subject of my work to be a subtle hint to the viewer or anyone reading up about my work. But then I thought ok let’s just see where this goes. I won’t try hard either way to make it obvious or unobvious.

Progression in life, as a person, is very important. You don’t want to look back at yourself 5 years down the line and realise you are the same person you were then. Not having learnt anything. Not bettered yourself. Not improved in some way. For some people it might be as simple as having a better job, be earning more money, being married, having a family. For me it’s to be a better person and to do something to help others. This has a religious significance.

I think I have progressed – at least I hope I have. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, researching and learning. Not just for this project but for myself. One of the tenants of a Muslim’s belief is to gain knowledge. It is only through this seeking and gaining that one can then say they believe in God, as they cannot know what God is until they learn who God is. Once they have gained this knowledge they are required to act upon that knowledge. Which leads me to my next point(s):

I believe in One God and I believe he sent us Messengers to guide us and I believe that Muhammad was the last of those messengers. I believe the Qur’an is the word of God (the holy book revealed to the Prophet Muhammad). The Qur’an (in God’s words) tells us that not only is it important to believe in one God and that He created everything but that we must worship Him and one form of worhip is to do good. For this we shall be rewarded.

To put it simply – One of my mottos is that ‘there is a reason for everything and everything has a reason’.

So basically I want to do good and encourage others to do good. Not just because I need to get to heaven but because I want to be a good person and also because I want it to be rewarding for everyone who is inspired by that goodness.

Why am I telling you all this?

I find that through all this my priorities have slightly changed. I now feel that if something isn’t helping me make progress in my life in a good way then there is no room for it. I need to do good so that others can be influenced by it. They might not even want to do ‘good’ but maybe I can subconsciously influence them.

Subliminal messages? I don’t think so. I prefer to make things more open and clear and fair. Not like some secretive hidden agenda.

I want to make it obvious now. I want my work to be striking and I want someone to know that it was a Muslim that created it. A Muslim who was inspired by the teachings of their peaceful religion (not the violent one it is portrayed as). That a Muslim created something that anyone of any religious or non-religious background can appreciate. It would just be an added bonus for me if it works. At least my intentions would be good.

So this is my justification. I needed to justify the purpose of my project. I needed to justify my MA. Not for anyone but myself I guess. To know that my intention is to do something good with this.

I can only hope it has the right effect. I can only ask for God’s help and leave it to him in a way, and try my best in the meantime.

But this doesn’t change the project’s theme or line of enquiry. It may have influenced the journey though.

We’ll see.

Sample work 2

December 10, 2008

Please click on the thumbnails to view larger images and to read a further description of each:

Euclidean geometry

December 2, 2008

I find that I come across this subject quite a lot in my research and didn’t really have a clear understanding of it. So it’s time we did a bit of digging.

Now I usually go to Wikipedia first because even though it might not be 100% accurate – and sometimes any random person might have added the information – on well known topics, there is less room for mistakes, as others will be checking these too and making corrections if necessary. However, I find that it’s harder to grasp – maybe my brain isn’t on full form tonight.

I like this explanation from the University of Toronto’s Mathematics Network –

Euclidean geometry is just another name for the familiar geometry which is typically taught in grade school: the theory of points, lines, angles, etc. on a flat plane. It is given the name “Euclidean” because it was Euclid who first axiomatized it (rigorously described it).

Another reason it is given the special name “Euclidean geometry” is to distinguish it from non-Euclidean geometries (described in the answer to another question).

The difference is that Euclidean geometry satisfies the Parallel Postulate (sometimes known as the Fifth Postulate). This postulate states that for every line l and every point p which does not lie on l, there is a unique line l‘ which passes through p and does not intersect l (i.e., which is parallel to l).

Geometry on a curved surface, for example, may not satisfy this postulate, and hence is non-Euclidean geometry.

But what are the other postulates then?

So I search again and find this brief explanation instead on QR Glossary:

Euclidean Geometry is one of many different types of geometries. It is the most familiar one, typically studied in high school (and never again). All of the theorems and conclusions of Euclidean Geometry can be derived from these five basic postulates:

1. A straight line segment can be drawn joining any two points.

2. Any straight line segment can be extended indefinitely in a straight line.

3. Given any straight line segment, a circle can be drawn having the segment as radius and one endpoint as center.

4. All right angles are congruent.

5. If two lines are drawn which intersect a third in such a way that the sum of the inner angles on one side is less than two right angles, then the two lines inevitably must intersect each other on that side if extended far enough.

The fifth postulate is equivalent to what is known as “The Parallel Postulate.” Another way to state The Parallel Postulate is to say: Given a line(l) and a point(P) not on that line, there is exactly one line which can be drawn through P that is parallel to l. Non-Euclidean geometries are created by failing to accept The Parallel Postulate. These include Hyperbolic Geometry and Spherical Geometry, among others.

I don’t remember this from school! It might have made more sense otherwise. Ok I think diagrams are needed. And also a comparison to show the different types of geometry.

This image is pretty easy to understand and makes the difference between the two clearer:,intro.html

This seems like an easy site to pick up a bit of knowledge from about this subject. I don’t want to just copy and paste it – so read up if you want all this to make more sense.

I’m planning to add to this topic soon. Especially once I’ve read up on the other types of geometry and can then hopefully speak about each without having to use someone else’s words 🙂

In the brief search I just conducted online I also came across this image:

I find it absolutely beautiful. I feel like dismissing everything else and just jump straight to finding out more about Polytopes!! But I won’t – not just yet. I need to grasp a strong understanding of the basics and the levels leading to the higher more complicated levels before I do so.