April is Mathematics Awareness Month
Held every April, the goal of Mathematics Awareness Month is to
increase public understanding of and appreciation for mathematics.
2014 Theme: Mathematics, Magic & Mystery.
MAM 2014 will be dedicated to the presentation of 30 magical,
mysterious, mathematical phenomena. These are gems that can easily be
appreciated by anyone, from young child to professional mathematician.
Each day in April, a new phenomenon will be revealed at
www.mathaware.org. There will be an introductory video along with
supplementary materials for those who wish to attain a deeper
understanding or use the phenomenon in a classroom demonstration.
Magic squares and Möbius bands to magical card tricks and illusions,
mysterious phenomena with elegant “Aha!” explanations have permeated
mathematics for centuries. Such brain-teasing challenges promote
creative and rational thinking, attract a wide range of people to the
subject, and often inspire serious mathematical research.
The theme of Mathematics Awareness Month 2014 echoes the title of a
1956 book by renowned math popularizer Martin Gardner, whose extensive
writings introduced the public to hexaflexagons, polyominoes, John
Conway’s “Game of Life,” Penrose tiles, the Mandelbrot set, and much
more. For more than half a century Gardner inspired enthusiasts of all
ages to engage deeply with mathematics, and many of his readers chose
to pursue it as a career. The year 2014 marks the centennial of
“Never underestimate the smallest of acts that keep a child from
falling through the cracks, help another fit in, or turn a life
around; a smile, a word of praise, a listening ear, a kind word, an
act of caring … all have the potential to be a turning point in a
child’s life”. Leo Buscaglia (adapted)