MCN Newsletter 2016/2

Mar. 4, 2016

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 Mathematics of Planet Earth Competition
  • Updated projects
  • Highlighted projects
  • Forthcoming conferences

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

New Mathematics of Planet Earth Competition

Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE) is an initiative of mathematical sciences organizations around the world designed to showcase the ways in which the mathematical sciences can be useful in tackling our world’s problems. The exhibition “Mathematics of Planet Earth” consists of modules submitted by the community, fostered originally by a 2013 international competition.

With the occasion of the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering; IMAGINARY, UNESCO, the International Mathematical Union (IMU), and the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) open this second international competition of exhibit modules to enrich the MPE exhibition. This competition aims to address the challenges in Africa, as well as in other regions of the world.

  • 1st prize:  5 000 USD
  • 2nd prize:  2 000 USD
  • 3rd prize:  1 000 USD
  • Special prize for African topic:       2 000 USD
  • Deadline:  June 30, 2017

Topics to be addressed by the exhibits include:

I. A planet to discover: oceans, meteorology and climate, mantle processes, natural resources, celestial mechanics…
II. A planet supporting life: ecology, biodiversity, evolution…
III. A planet organized by humans: political, economic, social and financial systems, organization of transport and communications networks, management of resources, energy…
IV. A planet at risk: climate change, sustainable development, epidemics, invasive species, natural disasters, risk analysis…

Modules can take the form of an interactive program, a hands-on physical exhibit, a short film, or an image gallery. All ontributions must be released under an open license and they will become part of the IMAGINARY MPE exhibition.

Everybody is invited to participate. More information in the competition website.


Updated projects

AtrMini from Atractor

The association Atractor (Portugal) has adapted and launched a new version for tablets of AtrMini, their program aimed to their youngster public. With AtrMini, children from 9 years old and up can learn and play with elementary arithmetics, combinatorics, spacial orientation, symmetry, and more. With this update, AtrMini becomes available for Windows, Mac and Android. The website of Atractor has been also renewed and more information is easily accessible.


New Mathematics in Europe website

Mathematics in Europe is a portal of the Raising Public Awareness (RPA) committee of the European Mathematical Society. This renewed portal is written as a magazine, with articles, interviews, news, stories, and many other sections making easier to visit the page by all types of public to read about the ubiquity and beauty of mathematics. The new web page is available under the URL: www.mathematics-in-europe-eu.


Highlighted projects

Brèves des Maths

In 2013, the IMU and UNESCO declared the year of Mathematics of Planet Earth, and many scientific and outreach activities took place with this motive. Brèves des Maths (briefs of maths) was a French blog that all along 2013 updated every day a short note on a topic of mathematics related to the Planet Earth. More than 240 notes were written along the year, covering most of the news of the moment in the MPE program, as well as many other topics written and compiled by by the 25 editors of the project. In 2014, a selection of the best entries of the blog were published in a book “Brèves de maths. Mathématiques de la planète Terre.”, edited by Martin Andler, Liliane Bel, Sylvie Benzoni, Thierry Goudon, Cyril Imbert and Antoine Rousseau. We invite you to revisit or discover this beautiful blog full of pills of maths. Blog and book in French.


Espaces Imaginaires

A collection of several exhibits (virtual photographs, animations, audio-video installations) conform the  exhibition Espaces Imaginaires, which is available for display on museums and exhibition halls. The artistic 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). The installation “Views in 3-Manifolds” will be shown at the 7ECM conference in Berlin (July 18-22, 2016), in parallel to an IMAGINARY exhibition. Contact: Pierre Berger,


Meet Math Museum

The Al-Quds University is located in East Jerusalem (Palestinian side), just next to the separating wall between Israel and West Bank. Despite the disheartening location, an optimistic and beautiful Meet Math museum of mathematics opens to children and visitors. Founded in 2007 with the support of the EU, UNESCO and the Campania region, it has followed a slow but steady growing and consolidation way on its role as a science popularization center. The strong math department of Al-Quds University provides contents and staff to the museum, and the exhibition serves several Palestinian schools and public from the region. This is the first museum of its kind in the area.


Forthcoming conferences

Illustrating Mathematics at ICERM (Providence (Rhode Island), United States, June 27 - July 1, 2016)

The Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) holds this conference to bring together mathematicians from a range of fields, and practitioners from the digital arts (animation, 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC routing, virtual reality, computer games, etc). The attendees will share their expertise in mathematics and with the procedural tools used to illustrate mathematics. In addition to talks in the traditional style, several workshops will take place to train attendees about a variety of digital media, in particular 3D printing.


Symmetry Festival 2016 (Vienna, Austria, July 18-22, 2016)

The International Symmetry Association (ISA) organizes the multidisciplinary conference and art festival “Symmetry Festival 2016”, hosted by the Technische Universität Wien (Vienna, Austria). The event will include an international scientific conference (talks, workshops), an art exhibition (contemporary art, origami…), teacher programs, book shows, concerts, performances, movies, a family day, public program and more. The ISA conferences gather since 1989 a broad spectrum of scientists, Nobel Laureates, recognized artists, educators and other distinguished people working in scientific and artistic fields related to the phenomena of symmetry.

The Symmetry Festival 2016 will orbit around three main topics: Symmetry and Matter, Symmetry and Life, and Symmetry and Interdisciplinarity. Papers can be submitted and will be peer-reviewed before presentation and publication. Selected papers will appear in the proceedings issue of the Journal of Symmetry: Culture and Science. Other accepted papers will appear online.

Early Bird Registration, 1 June 2016; Cancellation Deadline, 1 June 2016.

More information at


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

IMAGINARY Conference on Open and Collaborative Communication of Mathematical Research 2016 (IC16) is an interdisciplinary gathering for mathematicians, communicators and interested professionals to discuss and work together on current issues of communication and knowledge transfer in mathematics. Experts in the fields of mathematical research, didactics, computer science, architecture, design, law, and media research are invited 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 short talks together with 10 parallel workshops (see the booklet), that aim to generate tangible outputs during the conference, with the active involvement of the participants. An exhibition corner and a math video festival (MathLapse competition) will make the side program.

Deadlines: MathLapse submissions June 1,  registration July 1.


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.


ISSC 2016 International Conference: The Logics of Image: Visualization, Iconicity, Imagination and Human Creativity (Santorini, Greece, July 25 - 30, 2016)

Conference organized by the International Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Symmetry (see also here). From a standpoint of epistemology and philosophy of science, visualization and perception of reality, this conference aims to bring together scientists, engineers, philosophers and artists of numerous disciplines to discuss transversally topics such as the logic of images, visual communication, creativity, iconicity, and other affine subjects. Submissions deadline, May 1. Registration deadline: June 2.


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 on 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


MATRIX 2016 (September 1-3, Leeds, United Kingdom)

MATRIX (Mathematics Awareness, Training, Resource, & Information Exchange) is the bi-annual meeting for the math museums and math outreach community, organized by the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath). This edition will be co-organized and hosted by MathsWorldUK, and held at the University of Leeds. It is a gathering of people interested in improving the public perception and engagement with mathematics. The aim of the conference is to share ideas, experiences and best practice in the area of maths outreach.

The conference will include public lectures by Hannah Fry and Tadashi Tokieda along with a large number of 20-minute talks. Participants are invited to propose topics for presentations or discussion, as soon as possible to ensure inclusion in the programme. If agreed by the programme committee in advance, presenters can register before 24th May with a reduced registration fee.

Early registration: May 31.


4th Heidelberg Laureate Forum (Heidelberg, Germany, September 18 - 23, 2016)

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum is the annual conference where Abel, Fields and Turing Laureates meet the next generation of mathematicians and computer scientists. The forum is a mixture of lectures given by the prize recipients, and social events where participants can approach the laureates and get a close interaction with them. The program will be complemented by an exhibition on Konrad Zuse, the father of the first programmable computer.


ESMA Conference (European Society for Mathematics and the Arts) (Ljubljana, Slovenia, September 21 - 25, 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  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]).


3rd Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication Conference (Lübeck, Germany, October 4 - 7, 2016)

The Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication conference (CMSC) explores new ways of popularizing the rich mathematics underlying computer science, including outdoor activities, art, dance, drama and all forms of storytelling. How to explain your mathematical research to your colleagues down the hall, in different disciplines, government, to your kids, mom. Join with others for an enjoyable time exploring these issues and creating new popularization activities.

This is the third event in a conference series that explores new ways of helping students to achieve 21st Century competencies in mathematics and computer science. The previous conferences, held in Darwin, Australia, in 2013 and in Chennai, India, in 2014 saw a unique interaction between computer science / mathematics researchers and educators and artists (theatre, dance, graphic arts).

The CMSC has several aspects.

- Involve and support researchers to share the frontiers of computer science and mathematics with children and the general public.
- Research communication is a “two-way street”. Explaining your research can inspire new research questions. For example, Mike Fellows describes how “Kid Crypto” inspired the new research of Polly Cracker crypto systems.
- Future directions of Computer Science Unplugged! Discuss with Tim Bell, Mike Fellows and others future directions of this grass-roots movement, which is now translated into 19 languages.
- Storyfull, whole-body, kinesthetic math activities. Demonstrate and design new whole body activities that connect math with the inner self and community. Design activities that include cultural understanding and relevance. Demonstrate activities that foster curiosity, enthusiasm and perseverance.
- Expand computational thinking across the curriculum, and explore how mathematical thinking strategies nurture 21st Century competencies.
- Policy makers in government, business and industry. What are the issues and unanswered questions of executives and policy makers?

Deadlines: abstracts 10 June 2016, submissions 8 July 2016, early registration 15 August 2016.


Workshop on Mathematics and its Public (Wuppertal, Germany, March 23 - 24, 2017)

This workshop (Mathematik und ihre Öffentlichkeiten) will be held at Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung (IZWT) at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany. The main goal is to investigate the relation between mathematics and its public. The workshop will be held in German language. The call for participation (30 minutes presentations) is open until June 15, 2016.


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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