On 14 March, the International Day of Mathematics will be celebrated worldwide
Organized by the International Mathematical Union, the IDM includes a mixture of virtual and face-to-face celebrations in 2023, including celebrations in classrooms.
The special feature of IDM 2023 is the Comic/Cartoon Challenge. Individuals, schools and organizations have sent a comic to illustrate “Mathematics for Everyone”. The comics will be made available on March 14 and remain in a public gallery to all under a free and open license.
“All the great male mathematicians have contributed to this history, as have the great female mathematicians. This Day is an opportunity to celebrate them, from Hypatia in Greek antiquity to the mathematicians who have won the L’Oréal-UNESCO Prize “For Women in Science”, such as Alicia Dickenstein in 2021, and Ingrid Daubechies and Claire Voisin in 2019. Let us also recall the Ukrainian Maryna Viazovska, winner of the 2022 Fields Medal: she is, after Maryam Mirzakhani in 2014, only the second woman mathematician to receive this prize, out of more than 60 mathematicians… This Day is all about remembering that mathematics concerns us all, that it writes the world and makes it intelligible. It is a gift of endless generosity: there is still so much to explore.’’
IDM 2023 is celebrated on all continents and new countries are joining this year: Haiti, Fiji. All over the world people are organizing festivities, and teachers celebrate in the classroom, for instance by playing Towers of Hanoi and Stockmeyer. Celebrations take many forms: national and local competitions, conferences, exhibitions, and talks, organized by mathematical societies, research institutes, museums, schools, universities, etc.
On 14 March, 12:00-13:15 and 14:00-15:15 UTC, an international live celebration addressed to young people in school proposes lively talks by the four 2022 Fields medalists and five other talks in different languages (Arabic, English, French, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese and Spanish).
A first for Haiti
Bruny Mabien from College Côte-Plage and Fondation Éducation Developpement, is organizing the IDM in Haiti for the first time this year: “For once in our misfortune, mathematics brings a glimmer of hope to the lives of children in Haiti, a country where dreams often drown in doubt and uncertainty. Already this year more than 20 schools will celebrate the International Day of Mathematics, and my dream is that all schools in Haiti will celebrate it in the future.” Several classrooms from Haiti have been paired with classrooms of Democratic Republic of Congo and exchanged IDM activities in the month before the IDM.
French workshops for primary and secondary mathematics teachers from Haiti and Democratic Republic of Congo have accompanied the IDM this year. It is part of a special series of online teacher trainings with participants from Africa and Latin America supported by the Simons Foundation with the goal to further engage with Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, and to expand the network for local IDM celebrations.
A webinar and a tool kit
IDM 2023 is part of the celebrations of the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development. More than ever, access to truth and science-based decision making are needed for a sustainable future in a peaceful world. To highlight this, UNESCO is proposing to young scientists a webinar Industrial Mathematics: Applications and Challenges. The French version of the UNESCO tool kit Des maths pour agir : accompagner la prise de decision par la science will be launched during that webinar.
The date of 14 March is already known as Pi Day and celebrated in many countries around the world. It is named after the important number p, the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle and approximately equal to 3.14. The IDM celebration expands Pi Day to include the whole spectrum of mathematics. Mathematical language and reasoning are accessible to everyone, including girls, boys, adults, blind people, etc.
The IDM website is the main hub for the International Day of Mathematics online.