Mathematics could be beautiful, and not just on a conceptual level, Professor James Stewart told a seminar at the Open University of Hong Kong this week. It could be used to produce beautiful images and create wonderful patterns and sounds. 'The most natural sounds that are pleasant to the ear can be analysed by the most natural maths equations,' said the professor from McMaster University in Canada, who is also professional violinist. 'There is actually a human side to the inhuman subject,' he added. Professor Stewart demonstrated how maths could be translated into the arts through the use of software. For example, he said, the Walt Disney Concert Hall was constructed with layered compositions of curved surfaces, which could be explained using calculus. He also showed how mathematics lessons could be enlivened using games and animation. 'Once people realise maths relates to their real lives, the subject comes alive,' he said.