MATRIX x IMAGINARY Conference 2022

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The MATRIX x IMAGINARY Conference takes place from 31 August to 2 September 2022.

Official website

Official program (pdf)

Below is a non-official account of the talks with some links and resources that were shared. Participants are welcome to add information.

Talks Day 1


Adrien Rossille (IHP) - Holo Math

Maison Poincaré, new math museum in Paris. Info about opening dates, spaces, plans.

Augmented/mixed/virtual reality. Different devices. Samples of existing exhibits in museums with those technologies.

Holo Math. 45 min (30 of mixed reality), groups or 12 people + explainer. Existing episodes:

1. Brownian motion (pollen grain, random walk, galton board...)

2. Artificial intelligence (in progress. dissect perception algorithm and artificial neural networks)

Tracy Drinkwater (Seattle Universal Math Museum)

Focus on education. Pomote STEM studies. Attention to gender and ethnic balance. Address problems of math achievement, aggravated by pandemic. Focus on 8-14 years old children.

Current focus:

- Create mobile math exhibition.

- Espand programs (now hiring staff).

- Establish temporary space (in South King County).

- Identify a site for the permanent museum and open within the next 5 years.

Can Ozan Oğuz (via videoconference) Mathematics Culture Center, Istanbul

Ongoing project. History: Workshops, Mathigon platform translation, New Horizon courses for teachers, Math seminars for the general public, Weekly mathematics bulletin, free online proof methods book, Book translations, youtube channel, online database of math projects in Turkey, workshops at Gazhane museum, Tutam Tutam math festival 2022.

Keynote: Nicky Case - Some people just want to watch the world learn

Earlier projects worked on. populations, covid-19... Nutshell: the tool from Nicky to make "expandable embeddable explanations"

5 Tricks to make explanations:

- show me what made you care (make it interesting, relevant, attracting curiosity...)

- Show, then tell. Concrete, then abstract. Familiar, then new. Use Pictures, Examples, Analogies

- "Therefore & but", not "and then". Conflict/problem -therefore-> Change/solution -but-> conflict...

- Write a draft, then cut 10%

- Do real tests, early and often.

Tim Reinhardt - Real time computation of simple conformal maps

Examples: Logo of the conference, hyperbolic symmetry groups.

Able to solve since 2009, since then, the goal is to make it faster (GPU).

What is a conformal map. Riemann mapping theorem. Idea: conformal maps are infinitesimal scaling & rotations.

The arithmetic mean of points has to be preserved. Algorithm: start with some reasonable mapping for initialization. Force the mapping to fulfill the arithmetic mean condition

To deal with boundaries, use analytical continuation (Schwarz reflection principle) and restrict to the straight lines and circular boundaries.

Lauren Siegel - MathHappen

Trip fields, permanent installations, durable take home projects, demonstration model for internet, mathhappens room, reference model for educators. Live experience: pool sampling with colored and clear water.

Katie Chicot - MathsCity by MathsWorldUK

Cultural solution to a cultural problem of lack of math engagement.

MathsCity: What, where and how?

Where: Epty shops in shopping centers, landlords avoid taxes.

Why: to create a national mathematics discovery centre. Multi-milon pounds project.

How: bought exhibits from Matrix members. "Shape" and "problem solving" topics. Code breaking topic: maker spaces prototypes.

Evaluation: Methods and results.

Talks Day 2

Aleksandra Ravas and Guido Ramellini - SMEM

Significant Mathematics for Early Mathematicians. Project aimed to children 3-8 years old.

Will have 3 Project Results: Small Hybrid exhibition, Didactic suitcase, Digital Educator's companion.

Partners: IMAGINARY, Mathematikum, MMACA, Fermat-Science, Citizens in Power, Arhimedes.

Elena Mille - Passau Math Museum

A museum for education. Education students (future teachers) develop instructive mathematical exhibits, give seminars, publish papers... in connection with the museum.

Jorge Nuno - Ludus

Ludus / Circo mathemático Gathering for Gardner Recreational mathematics magazine

Deck of cards with friezes and wallpaper patterns.

What is a math museum? ICOM definition, historical artifacts

Keynote: Tim Chartier - Math for all

Missing Eiffel tower trick. Chocolate bar trick. Using mime to share mathematics (tube performance). Knots. Balancing newspaper. Paintings with numbers (ASCII) or emojis, or polynomials. Guess the number trick with matrices. Sports analytics. "Get in the Game": book by Tim Chartier.

Manya Sundstrom, Curiosum Science Center, Umeå University- Nodal for Music Making

Curiosum is a Science center in Sweden. Manya works with a composer, who has worked with a program called Nodal [1]. She uses the program in educational context, with kids. It takes only a few minutes to create a song.

Live demo:

  • You can draw dots and lines on the canvas.
  • Length of a line corresponds to the length of a note (or not, this was questioned in the Q&A, the length might just be a pause before th next note plays)
  • Meta data for each dot in a separate window (pitch, loudness etc.)
  • In the dialog you can aso choose different scales

They ask kids to complete tasks like ‘create a spooky song for Halloween’, create a song that looks like a castle in Nodal, make music with parallel linesl… is free (in the free version you cannot save your creation) The creations are outputted as MIDI notes, instruments can be connected (i.e. a keyboard)

Kristof Fenyvesi and Christopher Bowell, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä - Mondrian blocks

  • Piet Mondrian’s 150 anniversary of his birth this year (original name: Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, painter and art theoretician)
  • Physical aspects of learning and collaborating
  • Mondrian Blocks are based on Mondrian’s design
  • Problem-solving puzzle, invented by Hungarian Man (name?) a puzzle for escape game
  • Game designer and product developer created a box with a game, which you can buy no
  • Rules for one player: black squares are fixed; task: find out the other positions of the other blocks, only one solution possible, also possible with several people as a cooperative game
  • Two players mode: based on the well-known NIM game, you take turns and want to force your opponent not to be able to place a block anymore, the number of empty places at the end determines how well the winner won
  • Tangram version with given challenges
  • Used in Portugal with Prof. Silva in large boardgame competitions (see his talk earlier today)
  • Amoeba version: just a few blocks need to stay connected but reach a certain point
  • Variants: play blindfolded, play with rotated board, play along with rhythmical music…
  • The physical game comes with a code to the digital online version
  • The challenges pool has more than 2000 ideas
  • You can create more challenges


Panel 1: Science of mathematics communication

Panel 2: Building worldwide communities