Mathematicians often speak of a particular theorem or proof as being “beautiful”. Those of us who have seen beautiful mathematics know exactly what it means, but what if you’ve never seen beauty in mathematics before? Is it one of those “I know it when I see it” kinds of things? Paul Erdös thought so:
Why are numbers beautiful? It’s like asking why is Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you don’t see why, someone can’t tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren’t beautiful, nothing is.
Ask your favorite mathematician (we all have one, don’t we?) what they find beautiful, and I’m sure you’ll get an immediate response. Read more (Warning: Long post.)