Yeshivat Frisch Launches Math Speaker Series With Architect Garron Macklin

October 26, 2017

Yeshivat Frisch’s Math Department launched its new Math Speaker Series on October 17 with a talk by licensed, Teaneck-based architect Garron Macklin of Aquarian Designs. Students on Frisch’s Math Team, a thriving after-school club that includes math enthusiasts from all grades, had the opportunity to hear Macklin’s insights on the golden ratio, and how he has incorporated the mathematical proportion into his work as a professional architect.

In his presentation, Macklin explained the diverse manifestations of the golden ratio within nature, art, music, architecture and the spiritual realm—from the growth patterns of the human body and the formation of daisy petals, to the ratio of black and white keys on a piano, to the measurement ratios of the Aron (Ark of the Covenant) in the Mishkan. Macklin also suggested that understanding the golden ratio, which tends to be universally recognized as aesthetically beautiful, may help illuminate the verse in Bereishit that describes how God created man betselem Elokim. “We learn from the golden proportion how Hashem creates something finite from something infinite,” said Macklin, adding that he utilized the golden ratio for various elements in his design for the Young Israel of Fort Lee synagogue.

“It was refreshing to see real applications of the golden ratio,” said Frisch junior Joelle Solowiejczyk. “Now that I know how very frequently it occurs in nature, I can make myself more aware and notice it when I see it.”

The Math Speaker Series at Frisch is geared toward all students who have an interest in learning how math is used by different professions in the larger Jewish community. “Garron truly uses math in his everyday work—not just in theory, but in practice,” said Sabrina Bernath, chair of Frisch’s math department and the Math Team’s advisor. “It was so fascinating and cool to learn how his on-paper sketches and abstracts have become essential building plans for various projects.”