Structures are Salient in Math and Science, Latent in the Arts

As I was studying for my Analytical Techniques class, I realize that although most of us equate structures with mathematics and science, yet they are not exclusive to these fields.

Adherence of structures, and at once the lack of it, is one of the greatest and often overlooked dichotomies common between science and art.

Music is mathematical. Formulas used in geometry and physics are often used to explain soundwaves and the journey of notes.

Linear trend model describes the relationship between two variables, one of which is time. This shows us the randomness and irregularity natures of variable against a linear dependent variable, time.

Language is quite formulaic. There is an established set of rules called syntax that dictates how words should be arranged on the page.

Literature is dependent on plot patterns. Even when authors craft convoluted, non-linear stories that rely heavily on flashback and time travel. The conventional pattern is: Exposition-Rising Action-Climax-Falling Action-Denouement. The unconventional pattern is the rearrangement or omission of any of these elements, and is chiefly a statement against this paradigm, which means that the pattern is referenced by way of disruption.

Normal distribution and the plot of a quadratic equation are derived from conventional theories about bell curves and polynomial equations, respectively. These are great ways to show the shape of the data, but are limited as they can only explain samples and observable data.

Dance is a type of art that is mainly concerned about form, contour and archetypes. Basic dance steps are ingrained in a ballerina, who further internalizes complex bodily movements and expression throughout her development. Utter commitment to a structure allows the ballerina more fluidity, the movements a vehicle in motion transporting grace, transforming the dance.

In my graduate program, we are always reminded that marketing is a blend of art and science, but beyond that, my statistics classes coupled with my proclivity toward the arts allow me to notice how things relate in a interdisciplinary way, everyday. We are always straddling between multiple worlds, and when the right mix of art and science is achieved, it’s when creativity begins.


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