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Phyllotaxis: Draw Flowers Using Mathematics

Use R to make art and create imaginary flowers inspired by nature.

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  • 9 tasks
  • 13,421 participants
  • 1,500 XP

Project Description

R is a tool for doing serious statistics and data analysis. But not everything in life can be serious, life is also beautiful, and R can make beautiful things too. R can make art.

The arrangement of leaves on a plant stem is ruled by spirals. This fact is called phyllotaxis and it is a nice example of how mathematics can describe patterns in nature. In this project, we will invent flowers using this fact.

This R project assumes you have familiarity with the ggplot2 package. If you don't know ggplot2 we recommend you take Data Visualization with ggplot2 (Part 1). If you want to see more examples of how you can use R to make art, you should check out the Fronkonstin blog created by Antonio Sánchez Chinchón.

Project Tasks

  • 1Patterns in nature
  • 2Warming up: drawing points on a circle
  • 3Make it harmonious with the Golden Angle
  • 4Remove everything unnecessary
  • 5A bit of makeup: size, color and transparency
  • 6Play with aesthetics: the dandelion
  • 7Put all it together: the sunflower
  • 8What if you modify the angle?
  • 9All together now: imaginary flowers
Instructor Avatar
Antonio Sánchez Chinchón

Data Scientist at Telefónica

Antonio Sánchez Chinchón is mathematician and works as data scientist at Telefónica, where he tries hard to extract value from data every day. He is the creator of Fronkonstin, an unclassifiable blog of mathematical experiments, data science, data art and R programming. He plays the banjo in a rock band. You can follow him on Twitter @aschinchon.

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