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World Maths Day
On World Maths Day, students aged 4-18 years old team up to
solve arithmetic and mental computation problems together in
Open to schools, individuals, and homeschoolers alike, this
free global event awards minted medals, world cups, and prizes,
and recognizes each participant with a certificate.
Begun in 2007 — when over 287,000 students from 98 countries
correctly answered 38,904,275 math questions over the course of
48 hours — World Maths Day has "united the world in numbers"
ever since. Two years ago, several million students took part
as World Maths Day expanded to become the World Education Games
and UNICEF joined as an official worldwide partner.
This year's World Maths Day starts in the U.S. on the morning
of Tuesday, 5 March, with challenges lasting for as long as an
hour or as little as one minute.
Freely downloadable PDFs include a teacher guide, World
Education Games poster, and Frequently Asked Questions:
Last week, event organizers released the World Maths Day's
first ever apps for Apple iPad and iPad Mini:
For the Android math app — also free — visit
PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week
"Rosa N. and Elizabeth N. from Johnson Middle School used a
Working Backwards strategy. They even included some slick
pictures to help the rest of us follow their instructions.
Jovanni includes precise angle measures in his explanation,
and provides a picture of the most complicated step. What I
especially like about his explanation, though, is his 'short
- Annie, commenting on the Geometry PoW's Latest Solution
Want to watch two kids sift through a can of soup to form the
largest possible number from its noodly digits? or see a Royal
Society Research Fellow discuss the new Mersenne prime number
discovered last month — and then prove that he has memorized
all 57,885,161 digits of its binary expression?
Before shooting these playful clips "about numbers and stuff,"
independent film-maker Brady Haran worked at the British
Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a video journalist for nearly
a decade. His first hundred Numberphile videos, most less than
ten minutes long, also feature
dragon curves, as folded by a co-author of Why Do Buses
Come in Threes?
the trouble with ordering chicken nuggets in Frobenius
number quantities from a drive-through window
the Pacman number, as revealed by a former world champion
a demonstration of the only mechanical pocket digital
calculator ever invented
favourite numbers, in response to a poll conducted by Alex
Bellos featured in these pages a year and a half ago
a member of the Festival of The Spoken Nerd and Guerilla
Science group explaining the Leading Digit Phenomenon
an Enigma Project Officer at a soccer stadium showing how
the number eleven figures into book codes, and applying
a similar idea to play CDs drilled through with holes
Haran has filmed similar segments about famous scientists, the
periodic table of elements, and the symbols of physics and
astronomy. For all of his projects, visit
Now taking place: math education conversation of the day
"What is more important — real world application or
- Richard, posted to the math-teach discussion
The Dartmouth College Math Department and the Neukom Institute
for Computational Sciences invite teens to create videos that
"show the world of equations that we live in."
Any legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of
Columbia registered as a student of a high school or equivalent
home school program may participate. Judges — who include Alan
Alda, Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications
Award winner Steven Strogatz, an animator who has worked at
Disney and Dreamworks, and two Dartmouth College math
professors — will then select the best entries, awarding
$7,000 in prize money.
Submit your own original story inspired by math, not more than
four minutes in length, by the deadline of Wednesday, 1 May.