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Maths can be fun

May 15, 2019 May 2019 No Comments

If you’re like me, the word “maths” might conjure up an image of a big blackboard covered in scary looking numbers and symbols.   But I am hoping my attitude is going to change on Sunday May the 26th.  That’s because there’s an amazing event coming to Martinborough that day and it’s designed to make maths fun and fascinating for everybody, young and old.  The keynote speaker, Eugenia Cheng, who’s a musician and mathematician says it is her mission to rid the world of “maths phobia”.

“How’s that going to happen?“ you might be asking.  Well, the organisers of Mathscraft know that maths is everywhere in daily life but most of us just don’t recognise we are using it.   They decided to get crafty. Literally.  They are providing hands-on, practical activities to demonstrate mathematical ideas.  

Think origami, knots, or French knitting.    It’s a chance to get playful and creative.  “This is what a genuine maths experience is like” says Dr Phil Wilson, one of the organisers.  “Even if you don’t understand the maths behind the activity you will still be able to do it.”  That’s reassuring as I am sure I wouldn’t recognise a hyperbolic plane, a fractal sculpture, a Möbius strip or a dodecahedron if it hit me between the eyes.  I hope that will all change after the event.

Mathscraft was set up in 2016 by Dr Jeanette McLeod (University of Canterbury/Te Pūnaha Matatini) and Dr Julia Collins (Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute).  They were both keen knitters and crocheters and wanted to find a way to share with the public the beautiful mathematics behind craft.  

Having this event come to Martinborough is a real coup (thank you Lee Mauger).   Until now it has only been held in major cities, with thousands of people attending.   

The organisers wanted to see how Mathscraft could work in the regions and we have been chosen as their first location.   So here’s another chance to show Martinborough’s strong community spirit by making this a well attended, successful show (if might also be your first chance to see inside the newly refurbished Waihinga Centre).

  The event is open to everyone: experts and amateurs, maths-fans and maths-phobes, the crafty and the curious.   The organisers would especially love to see families come along.  No booking is required and entry is free.  

There’s also a chance to work as a volunteer on the day, if you have some maths and craft skills.  See Mathscraft’s website (the Martinborough event page) .

Chris Cassels

Where:  Waihinga Centre, Martinborough

When:   Sunday 26th May, 10am-5pm (Talks held at 11am,3pm & 5pm)

website  www.mathscraftnz.org

Facebook www.facebook.com/mathscraftnz

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