Infinity: an interactive exploration by Dea Bankova

Think of a big number, the biggest one you can conceive of. Now add 1. You have a bigger number. You can keep going on and on, until you get to infinity. But is this ‘infinity’ an actual destination? What if I told you that an even bigger infinity hides in the numbers just between 0 and 1? The concept of infinity is one of the deepest and most captivating inhabitants of the world of mathematics. But just like with anything else in maths, it can feel distant and unapproachable. This project aims to be a bridge between the everyday curiosity that many of us have about infinity and the rigorous mathematical concept. Starting from the simplest and most relatable infinity - the counting numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…, and building up all the way to the beautiful Mandelbrot fractal with infinitely zoomable self-similar patterns.

It uses scrollytelling, interactive proofs and mathematical visualisations, together with an approachable and playful visual style. These choices were deliberate. I wanted to convey the sense of awe and wonder that maths has left me with over the years, and create a contrast with the harsh brushstrokes with which this seemingly difficult field is often painted. I went through many style iterations until I settled on the shiny ‘magical girl anime’ aesthetic. The proofs which I included, together with their visual walk-throughs, were chosen to be rigorous, but require little more than curiosity and logic. Plenty of references were included to resources that go into more depth for those who are curious or come from a maths background.

This piece is a personal passion project by a once maths student turned data visualisation creator, made with the hope to spark joy.