How to participate
Participate in the new competition of exhibit modules for Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE)! The best modules will be awarded and will enrich the successful MPE exhibition. Special prize for Africa-related exhibits!
Humankind has been curious about planet earth from its infancy and strived to understand the planet’s ecosystem and to organize civilisation in an analytical way. Recently, it has become apparent to us that our planet is in danger due to global changes.
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. It started with a competition in the end of 2012 whose winning modules were presented at the official opening event of the first MPE exhibition in Paris in March 2013.
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
To stimulate imagination on the many domains where mathematics plays a crucial role in planetary issues the following (non exhaustive) four themes are proposed:
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 submitted to this competition can be of one of the following four forms:
- Program. An interactive software exhibit to be used either on the web or in a museum.
- Hands-on. A module explaining how to realize a physical module in a museum.
- Film. A short video that can be shown in an exhibition.
- Image gallery. A collection of images accompanied of their mathematical description.
Some examples of the type of modules we are seeking can be found on the MPE exhibition page. Additional ideas for new modules can be found in the document 31 ideas of modules for MPE2013 by Christiane Rousseau.
Participants can be individuals or groups of individuals, institutions, schools or non for profit organizations. Contributions developed by profit organizations can be shared with us to be included in the open source exhibition, but will not participate at the competition.
The licenses used for the submitted modules must be Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA, BY-NC-ND, or similar) for images, films, blueprints… or Free/Open Source software licenses (GPL, Apache, MIT…) for programs.
How to participate
Once you have an idea for an exhibit, start developing it and make early prototypes. Pay early attention to a few technical/formal aspects of your module to avoid later problems:
- If you are developing a software program, which technology/language is more appropiate (to you and to the future users)? The more flexibility on the program (multi-platform, use of standard libraries, adaptable user interface, etc), the more likely is that it can be used on an exhibition and by the public. Recall that you will need to release it under an open license.
- If you are developing a physical exhibit, you need to prepare detailed instructions to reproduce it (technical documentation) as well as the panels, descriptions and/or didactic activities to be used on an exhibition (exhibition documentation). Document all the process of creation (notes, photographs) so that it is easier to you to write it down when it is finished.
- Regardless of the type of module, you must always include in your submission a Documentation text. This document should describe your module, the background mathematics, the possible interaction/activities with the visitors, a didactics section, the author and licensing information, and any other section you consider relevant.
- You are free to choose the language of your exhibit (at least English is recommended, but not mandatory), but it will be very appreciated the possibility to add new languages in a future. If you design your exhibit with this in mind, we will be able to add translations to spread your exhibit into more countries. This is especially important for software and films (soundtrack, subtitles, on-screen texts…).
Once you have a working prototype, and before the deadline, you need to create a User in the imaginary.org platform. From there, you can upload your material to IMAGINARY, but it will not be public until you select Publish. Once your material is on IMAGINARY, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know that your submission is ready. If we spot a major flaw or a needed improvement in your submission and there is still time, we will contact you with our suggestions. You can edit and improve your submission until the deadline.
Once the deadline is passed, the submissions will be made public and an independent international jury will evaluate the candidates to award the prizes. Winners and selected modules will be part of the new MPE exhibition.