Harmonius Equations

In 2007, I collaborated with members of Zambra, a choral group based in Santa Cruz, California, to develop a celebration of some of my favorite mathematical equations through a mixture of prose and song. We performed the resulting show, Harmonius Equations, at the California Mathematics Council annual conference in Asilomar, California, just before Christmas that year. The following year, joined by mathematics professor and dancer Karl Schaffer and members of his dance troupe MoveSpeakSpin, we returned to Asilomar to perform an expanded verson of the show, this time accompanied by interpretations of the equations in dance as well as song. Further performances were given at a theater in Santa Cruz in the spring of 2009. Many who were in the various audiences asked if there was going to be a recording of the show. Following the Santa Cruz performances, we went into an audio-studio and recorded the songs and the prose. Because so much is lost if the listener does not know the mathematics behind the singing (the singers interpret the actual mathematics in song), the audio track is accompanied by an animated movie created in Apple Keynote. The 45 minute performance is broken into seven segments, each in Quicktime movie format. It was Zambra's original choral rendering of Euler's Identity, broadcast on NPR, that inspired me to put together this show. The entire history of the project is described at the end of the program notes from the performance.


1. Introduction and Euler's equation

2. Pythagoras equation

3. Area of a circle

4. Einstein's energy equation

5. Leibniz's series for pi

6. Newton's second law of motion

7. Euler's polyhedron formula

8. Performance guide (PDF)

Page last updated September 14, 2010.