Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Startled and Excited

I walked out of my office and into the hallway yesterday and was startled by an image on the bulletin board that caught my attention. It took a moment to register that I was looking at a picture of myself! Yeah, I knew I was giving the talk; I just didn't know posters were ready or up yet, and there I was - staring myself in the face! So I was startled, but I'm excited about the talk - always fun to show people some cool mathematics! For a description of the talk see what I've written below the poster image.

"Young children know the truth. They know that numbers and shapes are fun. They play counting-out games like "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,"and they put numerical values to the letters of their names to play at predicting their futures. They doodle with geometric shapes, and they challenge each other to see who can name the biggest number. But that enjoyment of math fades for most people and is often replaced by boredom or even fear. In this talk we will explore together the playful side of mathematics through tracings, tilings and tangles. But be careful! This is more serious than you might think! It is often curiosity and play that give rise to powerful real-world applications."

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