MCN Newsletter 2015/4

Sep. 19, 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:

  • Upcoming conferences
  • Grants and opportunites
  • Crowdfunding campaigns
  • Highlighted projects

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


Upcoming conferences

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 this 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.


AIMS-IMAGINARY Workshop, Exhibition and Roadshow (M’Bour Thiès, Senegal, November 2-5, 2015)

This is the second edition of the AIMS-IMAGINARY Maths and Science Roadshow, Workshop and Exhibition, aimed to inspire and encourage the next generation of mathematicians and scientists in Africa. The event will consist of four different activities:

- The AIMS-IMAGINARY Roadshow, displaying various visual and hands-on exhibits. This activity is aimed to school and university students and is guided by an expert.
- Workshops, for discussion by interested participants wishing to share ideas and plan for future similar activities.
- Exhibition at AIMS Senegal, aimed to a wider and general audience.
- A Science Slam, where competing teams explain a science subject to an audience.

Math and Science communicators linked to the African continent are especially invited to participate.


The Science of Beauty (Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 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? The conference was announced during the Heidelberg Laureate Forum 2014, by Michael Atiyah and Semir Zeki.


IMAGINARY Conference (Berlin, Germany, July 20-23, 2016)

At this stage of the IMAGINARY project (with 130 exhibitions in 30 countries and a big network and community), it is essential to gather all partners involved so far, together with new experts in the field of mathematical research, didactics, computer science, architecture, design, law, and media research to establish a comprehensive analysis of mathematics communication today and to develop new perspectives.

This conference will break the classical scheme of successive talks, and will propose a mixture of conventional talks together with parallel workshops, that aim to generate tangible outputs during the conference, with the active involvement of the participants. The workshops will address the following main topics:

A. Community, networking and legal aspects.
B. Advances in 2-d and 3-d visualization of modern mathematics, creation of mathematics exhibits.
C. Knowledge transfer and pedagogics of mathematics communication.
D. Agile design and tools for maths communication.
E. Mathematical writing, journalism and media.

Save the dates (July 20 to July 23, 2016). The IMAGINARY conference will run partly parallel to the 7ECM conference in Berlin and just before the ICME13 conference in Hamburg. More information on the above link and more to be announced soon.


13th International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME13) (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, under the auspices of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI). The conference features a target group TSG7 on Popularisation of Maths. The call for submission of Papers and Posters is open from 1st Sept. to 1st Oct. 2015.


Bridges 2016 (Jyväskylä, Finland, August 9-13, 2016)

The Bridges Conference is the world’s largest interdisciplinary conference on mathematics and art. The annual meeting in 2016 will take place in Finland. The conference will feature presentations of full and short papers, hands-on workshops, invited talks, a juried art exhibition, a math/art short movie festival, a theater event, a music night, a mathematical poetry reading, a math/art excursion, a public day, and more. Papers will be published in the refereed conference proceedings.

Deadlines for submissions: Regular Papers: 1 February 2016, Workshop Papers: 1 March 2016, Short Papers: 15 March 2016, Artworks: between 15 February and 15 March 2016, Movies: between 15 April and 15 May 2016.


ESMA Conference (European Society for Mathematics and the Arts) (Ljubljana, Slovenia, September 19 - 23, 2016)

The next ESMA conference will give the opportunity to have a new large exhibition. New artworks will be particularly welcomed. The main themes of the conference are:

- Mathematical tools and software for the creation of artistic scientific visualizations.
- Analysis of artistic/mathematical works from the mathematical/artistic point of view.
- Pedagogical uses of scientific artistic works.

If you intend to show some of your work please inform the organizers ([1], [2]) as early as possible in order to prepare a catalogue in time. Contributors are invited to send a first abstract before January 30th, 2016, their full paper before June 15th, 2016, to any member of the scientific committee: ([3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13]).


Grants and opportunities

Sponsorship for mathematical sculpture

The Mathematical Association of America, through its SIGMAA-ARTS, has $2,000 available to sponsor one artist/mathematician to lead a Participatory Barn Raising Sculpture event at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Seattle in January, 2016. Interested artists are invited to submit proposals for a sculpture that can be assembled in 3 -8 hours by a group of volunteers.

Submissions due by October 1st. Official announcement here.


Crowdfunding campaigns

Number Rumbler

Maths on Toast is crowdfunding this month for its new family game, Number Rumbler, which makes learning times tables both more fun and more meaningful. The best way to find out about the game is to watch a quick video here.

Their goal is to raise £7000 this month. If they succeed, they will be able to:
 - get copies of Number Rumbler to all the people who are signing up for them on the website (over 50 copies ordered so far)
 - donate copies to schools (40 copies have been donated to schools so far)
 - print additional copies which they can continue to sell, so the game’s widely available and so Maths on Toast can invest the additional income in developing more family maths activities.

You can help them by pledging or also by sharing the link with your contacts, you’ll be playing a significant part in giving families more positive experiences of maths and numbers.


Highlighted projects


Scientix is an European network project to promote collaboration between teachers, education researchers, policymakers and other agents in STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Scientix aims to keep track and to spread existing projects on science education. The base service of Scientix is their comprehensive catalog of European science education projects. In addition, Scientix organizes teacher workshops, conferences, news, and other activities for the community.

Founded in 1997 by an initiative of the European Commission, Scientix is managed by European Schoolnet (EUN) under the European Union’s 7thFramework Programme. EUN is a consortium of 30 Ministries of Education in Europe. It is based in Brussels, Belgium.



Mascil (mathematics and science for life) is an international project to produce pedagogical materials for teachers and educators, in science and especially in mathematics. The main outcome are classroom material and a teachers platform.

The pedagogical framework is the so called inquiry-based learning (IBL), that is, promoting the curiosity of the students on the subject, by connecting it with their daily experience and their interests. Then, the students take an active role in learning, asking and answering questions and discovering the knowledge by themselves, instead of absorbing information passively.

The project mascil has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme. It runs four years and brings together 18 partners from 13 countries. These partners include experts in science and mathematics education, general education and e-learning as well as a journalist.


MiMa - Mathematics in the Making

MiMa - Mathematics in the Making (fb) is an European project to develop hands-on activities for teaching mathematics in primary schools. The aim of MiMa is to raise interest and competence in mathematics at young age, and to counteract early resignation from mathematics.

The objectives roadmap of the project consists of:

1.- developing a methodology based on manipulation (hands-on) activities;
2.- training a group of teachers in this methodology;
3.- testing on schools the method, while checking the improvements and monitoring the results;
4.- involve the students into organizing public exhibitions using the materials and method developed.

The project is funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union and involves a collaboration of partners from five countries.


Discovering the Art of Mathematics

Discovering the Art of Mathematics is a US based project to teach Mathematics for Liberal Arts students. Their goal is to provide resources for teachers in liberal arts and humanities, that allow their students to explore mathematical experiences that are intellectually stimulating, providing cognitive and metacognitive gains, and introducing the mathematical way of thinking on these fields.

Their main resource is a library of 11 books, inquiry-based learning guides, that can be used to plan a semester long course on mathematics for liberal arts students, or by independent chapters to specific activities. Titles on this collection include geometry, music, dance, the infinite, games and puzzles, calculus, patterns, and more. All the contents of the library are freely available on their web.

Discovering the Art of Mathematics is promoted and authored by professors of the Department of Mathematics of the Westfield State University (Massachusetts, United States). Their experiences using these materials provide feedback to the contents of the guides, so putting in practice the courses is an integrating part of the project. The real experiences on the classroom are well documented and shown on their website as a model to other educators. Furthermore, they offer workshops for faculty members interested in their materials and teaching techniques .


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.

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Image credit: Roman Candy, by Bianca Violet.

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