Andreas Daniel Matt

My main interests are related to visual and interactive mathematics, media and humans in general. I love motivating people and developing tools rather than final items. I was lucky to be attached with the IMAGINARY project from the very beginning and I keep enjoying its diversity and challenges.

Latest Blog Entries

Organizing the Organization
May. 2, 2013

Before reading this: this is my IMAGINARY blog on work, thoughts and feelings while being attached to this project and this life. Not all is connected to maths, most is connected to maths communication and its diverse aspects.

Today I focus on the planning of the planning. I know that I can be extremely chaotic in my planning and at the same time extremely organized and focused. How do these two fit together? And what impact do they have on the surrounding team and actual work? The most important thing is to stay “professional”. This means externally to be responsible with promises, to fulfill deadlines (or let the others know in time if not) and to not lose anything. This means not to lose any information, any idea, any contact data, any task you were planning. Not losing it, does not mean that you have it at hand. Here comes the chaos. The not-lost things are somewhere - not-lost - inside the chaos. So you can find them in theory. And (since we are professional) if it is necessary. The chaos itself adds creativity. The not-lost things stay there and mature. They combine with other things in the task pot. Once in a while, one eliminates the chaos and just carries out all tasks (generally in a night, weekend or special workshop session). This is what I do now. Task: write another blog entry (low priority). Task: order all other tasks (top priority).

So, the task of the tasks was to put the chaos into a priority list. “Top”, “low”, “if time and if necessary”, “whenever possible” and “to check again” are some of the categories of the tasks. The top tasks are the ones with deadline, the ones others are waiting for, the major problems - for example technical bugs on the platform, wishes of users, etc. Then we have tasks that can wait, but should be implemented, as adding new languages to the website (German, French, Spanish). While thinking of the translation module, I got an unexpected email from Brasil with the first few pages of the platform texts already translated into Brasilian. This really motivates me: tasks taken care of independently, others adding to the chaos & organization. What category would fit to this task (the ones already done before you plan them)? 

Do things grow?
Apr. 19, 2013

Yes, they do. But they need some input, “soleil” would the French king say, or “pani”, which is water in Urdu or Hindi. At a certain point they grow alone, before that they need somebody to look after them, else wise they die*.

The “somebody” generally is the one who planted the plant, or the one who bought it, or the one who found it and adopted it. It can be the neighbor, the kids or - in wild cases - Nature itself. If we look at this platform, our idea was and is to give the project feet (wheels or a jetpack) to prepare and motivate it to live on its own. To be guarded and fed and watered by the community in a way that its life is guaranteed independently (and in the best case that the project itself grows other things, guards and feeds them). This can only happen, if the community likes the project. If they identify with the mission, vision and values. I think we should write them down, clearly. Maybe everybody starts writing their visions down? How should this project develop? It was under constant development for the last years, can this continue? Where should we be in five years, in fifty yearsm in five hundred? Is it a project with an end? Does it have a bigger impact on mathematics, education, museums, learning, interaction or is it just a Zeitgeisty venture, which combines the right ingredients at the right time to create a temporary dish, and in a few years nothing will be left. I am quite curious. The “future web search engine” has not been invented yet, but imagine being in 2023 and opening “www.”? What would you see? (a new browser version definitely).

* dying is sometimes not bad. I often think that it is better to close a project in a proper way, rather than abandon it and letting it slowly vanish.

Links to Maths Museums / Science Museums
Apr. 12, 2013

The following links are accompanying an article titled “Von Museen und Mathematik” I wrote for the DMV-Mitteilungen Vol. 21, Issue 2, June 2013 (available on the De Gruyter page). The links are in chronological order of appearance in the article. I will give reference to the article, once it is published, so you have all the texts around the various links. I will see if we extend this list furtheron later and add categories for science centers, maths museums, related projects and initiatives, etc.

Note that whenever possible I tried to add the involved names in the various projects/museums/programs. As I stated in the first paragraph of the artilce, almost all projects have been started and live due to incredible individual contributions! The list and details will be extended.

The museum Mathematikum in Giessen is a project by Prof. Dr. Albrecht Beutelspacher.
The ix-quadrat museum in Munich is a project by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Richter-Gebert.

The MiMa museum in Oberwolfach is a project by the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, curator Dr. Andreas Daniel Matt.


http://math. space.
The Maths Space in Vienna is a project by Bianca Taschner and Prof. Dr. Rudolf Taschner.
The information on the MMI was provided by Christian Mercat, who is involved in the project.


http://web. math.





The curator for the mathematical cabinet in the Deutsches Museum is Anja Thiele.


http://www. kopernik.






he exhibition “Mathe x anders” in the Phaeno museum was curated by Dominik Essing.
PE2013 is an international initiative with over 100 involved partners, the director of the initiative is Prof. Dr. Christiane Rousseau.
SURFER is a program developed by the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, main developer is Christian Stussak.

Morenaments is a program developed by Martin von Gagern.
iOrnament is a program for iPhone/iPad by Prof. Dr. Dr. Jürgen Richter-Gebert.

iOrnament on the App store.

IMAGINARY is a project by the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, coordinator Dr. Andreas Daniel Matt.



http://www. mosi.

Inside work
Feb. 27, 2013

At certain moments, very often before deadlines, work is talking over control of life. Or at least it tries to. This means, work (as the bad big monster) with all its chaos, logistics, emergencies is controlling the well prepared master plan and the little of daily life that remains. What I do then is to plan more to take back control. Sometimes it is not possible, so there is no other way than to let it flow and to trust. To trust the team members and the world. This is not spiritual, this is progressive. I like that flow and I think it is related to the completed pre-phase of planning, the right amount of distribution of responsibility, of know-how and experience and of course to the skills to improvise and be spontaneous. Can you plan spontaneousity? To come back to the main topic: the web platform IMAGINARY (this one) is almost ready, there are still some bugs and there is a long list of future ideas and a whole ROADMAP. But it is ready to go online and to let the world be part (and take over?). Besides spontaneousity, I think the other non-standard concept is “not-perfectness” (imperfection). I would call it a tool to show humanity and to motivate everybody to be part. So, we are imaginary and imperfect (but with a big love for the detail) – a good combination.

Oct. 13, 2012

Websites feel so two-dimensional - they are flat. The whole internet feels flat too, no idea, what is happening but I feel bored sometimes by the coolest of all communication tools, the coolest of all connection tools. The website is growing, I think that it is approaching the turning point to be alive, it has a good amount of data already and we are close to the date, where we start inviting friends, the imaginary friends of our imaginary project. Man, I am happy that the whole project around is not imaginary, that it is a real physical true project, with exhibitions, printed pictures and thousands (?) of people thinking along. I am motivated again to go out to the field to mount an exhibition. The screwdriver (a three-dimensional one) lies neglected in my tool box - does he feel a bit bored too? The screen (still 2D) reflects his light into my eyes.


Andreas Daniel Matt
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