MCN Newsletter 2015/3

Jul. 17, 2015

Newsletter for the Math Communication Network, a project initiated by IMAGINARY aimed at professionals of math outreach. Learn more about it on the project website.


In this Newsletter:
  • New museums.
  • New content.
  • Fairs and Events.
  • Mathematics of Planet Earth.
  • Upcoming conferences.

Remember that you can send us any news you may want to share with the community to


New museums Maison des Maths (Belgium) In September 2015, the city of Quaregnon (Belgium) will open the first math museum in the country, the Maison des Maths (House of Maths). Aiming to schoolchilds, students and undergraduates through guided visits, but also to families and general public during weekends, the museum will offer concrete and experimental mathematics, but also history and people behind the mathematics.   The project is inspired and developed in collaboration with other well-established math museums. Especially the Mathematikum of Giessen (Germany), that will provide experience and infrastructure, and also the MoMath of New York (USA) and Fermat Science of Beaumont de Lomagne (France).   The founders of MdM are a group of enthusiast math teachers; and the local expertise is grounded by the non-profit association Entr’aide. Entr’aide (inter-help) is a socio-pedagogic project from more than 180 math teachers to support students with difficulties in their math studies, with actions ranging from personal training and workshops to the development of didactical material and close collaboration with schools.   A first “preview” of the future MdM is already open to the public in the city of Mons, a 100 m^2 exhibition called “Petite Maison des Maths”. This is a teaser of the full Maison des maths that will occupy 1400 m^2 inside a public parc in Quaregnon.   The Maison des Maths aims to be a place to feel, touch, visualize and hear mathematics, to experiment, get insights and integrate them in life. MdM are also initials for Manipuler, Découvrir, Modéliser (Handle, Discover, Modelize), which makes for the motto of the museum.   New content Ars Qubica

On 18th of June the Institute of Mathematics and Applications (IUMA) of the University of Zaragoza (Spain) premiered the audiovisual “ARS QUBICA” realized by Cristóbal Vila and partially supported by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), the Royal Spanish Mathematical Society (RSME) and the company CONENTO. This videoclip has a duration about three and a half minutes and shows how Geometry is presented in Spanish national pieces of art (“La Seo” of Zaragoza, the “Alhambra” of Granada, “hexagonal tile” of Gaudí) as well as foreign pictures (“Melancolia” of Dürer, “Red Triangles in Round ” of Popova, or “Black Square” of Malevich).

You can view the audiovisual on Vimeo.

Mathical Books For kids of all ages — the first winners of Mathical: Books for Kids from Tots to Teens were announced in April. The prize, co-sponsored by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC), recognizes books that inspire a love of mathematics in the lives of very young children through young adults. The prize list features not only newly published titles in fiction and non-fiction, but also honors noteworthy titles looking back 10 years. Espaces Imaginaires

Several exhibits (virtual photographs, animations, audio-video installations) by Pierre Berger are collected  at Espaces Imaginaires, and are available for display on museums and exhibition halls. The works include “Espaces Imaginaires, motifs et mirages” (2015), “Regards dans les espaces de dimension 3” (2013), and “Um Olhar nos Espaços de Dimensão 3” (2015).

Contact: Pierre Berger,


Fairs and Events US National Math Festival (Washington, United States)

The first-ever National Math Festival in Washington, DC drew crowds of 20,000+ to the Smithsonian Museums for more than 70 lectures, performances, games, demos, and much more. (You might enjoy “The National Math Festival in 140 Seconds.”) The Festival was co-organized by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS).

While the main Festival was centered in downtown Washington, D. C., more than 80 museums across the US also hosted parallel events on the same day featuring interactive geometric bubble demonstrations. Leading up to the Festival, an online #ISpyMath challenge drew 800+ entries from around the globe (the winners included a fractal cauliflower, a cup of tea, and an appreciation for the geometry of honeybee constructions…). We can’t wait till the next Festival in April 2017!

Math Party at Fermat House (Beaumont de Lomagne, France) Fermat Science, the museum located at the birthplace of Pierre de Fermat (Beaumont de Lomagne, France) organizes the annual Math party day on October 11th 2015 (Fête des Maths dans la Maison Natale de Pierre Fermat). The day will feature mathematics conferences, mathematical and scientific workshops, exhibitions, and all sorts of activities… for all ages and all the family. This year, the leitmotiv of the party is Maths & Cook. Free entrance for all ages.   Contact: Fermat Science, Magic Math Works in Wuppertal (Wuppertal, Germany)

The Magic Math Works traveling exhibition will give a full week of activities in the Carl Duisberg Gymnasium (Wuppertal, Nordrhein Westfalen, Germany), during the week of August 17 - 21. Each day there will be two separate activities: first, a free discovery “Circus” of around 20 interactive modules (8:00-11:30 h). After this, a “Masterclass” consisting on a talk and workshop about one mathematical topic (11:30 - 13:00 h).

Contact: Paul Stephenson,

Quasicrystalline images at MiMa (Oberwolfach, Germany)

The Museum of Minerals and Mathematics, MiMa (Oberwolfach, Germany), shows eight pictures of the German artist Uli Gaenshirt. His art deals with the complex beauty of quasicrystalline structures. The opening takes place on Friday, 17th July 2015. Uli Gaenshirt will give an introduction into his work.

Movie Festival in Heidelberg (Heidelberg, Germany)

July 19 -26, 2015, the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation is presenting a Movie Festival at the Karlstorbahnhof cinema in Heidelberg, Germany, screening films about Mathematics and computer science. There will be experts introducing each film and chairing the discussion afterwards.


Mathematics of Planet Earth

“Mathematics of Planet Earth” is an international initiative that includes the travelling exhibition, which shows exhibits and programs concerning the question, how mathematics can (and does) play a role in solving esssential problems of our planet. In programs, visualizations and hands-on experiments you can discover its contribution to topics like astronomy, fluid dynamics, volcanism, glaciers or cartography.

After the UNESCO year “Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013” there are now some big events coming up:

MPE exhibition in Heidelberg (Heidelberg, Germany)

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation invites you to visit the exhibition “Mathematics of Planet Earth” at Karlstorbahnhof in Heidelberg, Germany! It runs from July 5 to Aug 2, 2015, for the first time in Heidelberg. It offers a big variety of exciting adventures for children and adults alike.

MPE exhibition at Imperial College (London, UK)

There will be another big MPE exhibition October 24 - November 1, 2015 in the entrance of the Imperial College London, UK. It will include hands-on exhibits, movies, interactive touch screen stations as well as an image gallery.

UNESCO MPE collaboration

UNESCO’s International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) joins hands with the MPE initiative and IMAGINARY, to bring this successful exhibition to African countries. In a one year long project starting in fall 2015, the exhibition will be extended and translated to local languages and offered to partners in Africa. African universities, research institutes, schools and learned societies are invited to stage the exhibition. A highlight will be the Mathematics of Planet Earth exhibition at the first Next Einstein Forum, to be held in March 2016 in Dakar, Senegal. Further exhibitions are planned in countries like Gabon, Togo, Tanzania and Sudan.


Upcoming conferences 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education (Hamburg, Germany, July 24 - 31, 2016)

The Society of Didactics of Mathematics (Gesellschaft für Didaktik der Mathematik - GDM) will host ICME-13 in 2016 in Germany.

The Science of Beauty (Edinburgh, United Kingdom, November 10-11, 2015)

During the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, Michael Atiyah and Semir Zeki announced the conference The Science of Beauty, to be held in Edinburgh (United Kingdom) on November 10-11, 2015. This will be a two-day conference, drawn from the fields of mathematics, physics, philosophy and neuroscience, seeking answers to questions such as: What is common to the experience of beauty derived from sensory, cognitive and moral sources? What is the relationship between aesthetic judgment and aesthetic experience? And what is the grander biological significance of the experience of beauty?

Espace Mathématique Francophone (Algiers, Algeria, October 10-14, 2015)

The Espace Mathématique Francophone is a society devoted to the education in mathematics in the French-speaking world. It organizes scientific meetings every 3 years in French-speaking countries, being next year in Algeria. Amongst other didactic and pedagogic topics, the conference will feature a Special Project “Vulgarisation des mathématiques” that will expand 3 time slots for a total of 5h30m of working time of a reduced team in the subject. The Call for participation is open.

MOVES 2015 (New York, United States, August 2-4, 2015)

MOVES (Mathematics Of Various Entertaining Subjects) is a conference on recreational mathematics organized by the National Museum of Mathematics (New York). This second edition of MOVES is devoted to combinatorial game theory, with key lectures from the mathematicians John Conway, Elwyn Berlekamp, and Richard Guy. The conference will feature dozens of talks on current research in recreational mathematics, as well as several mathematical activities. Papers building on work of Berlekamp, Conway and Guy are particularly encouraged for submission.

Bridges 2015 (Baltimore, USA, July 29 - August 1, 2015)

Bridges is the annual conference on Art and Mathematics, one of the most renowned meetings in the field. Bridges Baltimore 2015 will feature talks and artworks presenting the latest ideas in mathematics and the arts from experts around the world, including regular and short papers, invited talks, hands-on workshops, a Visual Art Exhibition, a Short Movie Festival, a Musical Event, a Theater Event, a Mathematical Poetry Event, a Giant Zometool Construction, and an excursion.

In the month prior to the start of Bridges, the Towson University Center for the Arts will be hosting an exhibition featuring a selection of works of mathematical art.


For any issues about the Network, you can email to or Daniel Ramos at

IMAGINARY is a project by the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach and supported by the Klaus Tschira Stiftung.

Please read our privacy policy and legal notice. Image credits: Parroquieta de San Miguel, La Seo, Zaragoza (Spain), from Ars Qubica, by Cristóbal Vila.