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A pattern--whether part of nature, representing mathematical concepts, or imbedded in art--relies upon three characteristics: a motif or unit, repetition, and a system of organization.

Patterns abound in the natural world--the designs on a butterfly's wings, the overlapping scales of a pine cone, the colors on a peacock's showy plumage, the rings on the interior of a tree's trunk, the cells of honeycomb, the crystals of snowflakes, the spirals of a spider's web, ocean waves. All the forces of life contain patterns.

Mathematics can be considered to be abstractions of patterns in the world around us--numerical patterns, patterns of shape, patterns of motion, patterns of reasoning.

Art and literature, too, contain patterns of expression and meaning.

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