The following podcast is enlightening:

(from SETI.org)

Most scientists agree with the opinion– without mathematics most of industrialized society would not exist. However, one is apt to read (in the daily newspaper) that U.S. society ranks low in educating its children in mathematics. High school dropouts will leave high school because they could not pass algebra or geometry. (Although one may not know how to understand chaos theory in high school, the GIF below is has a “certain symmetry” which most can appreciate–in my very humble opinion). Is it possible to imagine a world in which no one could appreciate its beauty?

A sample trajectory through phase space is plotted near a Lorenz attractor with σ = 10, ρ = 28, β = 8/3. The color of the solution fades from black to blue as time progresses, and the black dot shows a particle moving along the solution in time. Initial conditions: x(0) = 0, y(0) 2, z(0) = 20. 0 < t < 35. The 3-dimensional trajectory {x(t), y(t), z(t)} is shown from different angles to demonstrate its structure. Author: Dan Quinn

URL of GIF:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A_Trajectory_Through_Phase_Space_in_a_Lorenz_Attractor.gif
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