Mathematicians often work with matrices, which are arrays of
numbers. When written on a page, a matrix can look like a sea of
numbers, so any patterns that might occur in the numbers can be
difficult to discern. More and more, mathematicians are turning to
graphical representations of matrices, like the two examples here.
By using color and form to indicate the values of the numbers in the
matrix, these graphical representations can instantly give a sense of
the patterns in the matrix. The first picture is a representation of a
matrix in which the numbers exhibit a clear pattern; the second
picture, by contrast, is a matrix in which the numbers are random.