Friday, 17 June 2011
Maths in the City
I have started an exciting new project called Maths in the City.
Maths in the City aims to highlight the fundamental role that maths plays in society by viewing the urban environment in a mathematical way. Conventionally, the urban environment is used to explore local history, architecture and culture - but it can also provide us with adventures in mathematics.
Maths in the City is an EPSRC funded public engagement project led by myself. The project is produced and managed by the Technology–Assisted Lifelong Learning (TALL) unit of the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education.
We’d like to hear your mathematical stories of the city no matter who you are — young, old, students, teachers, researchers, member of the public, journalists... Anyone is welcome to shine a mathematical spotlight on their city!
We are also happy for you to either create a Site individually or in a group. If you and your friends or your family have an idea you’d like to work on together, or if you’re a teacher and would like your class to produce a Site, then we’d love to hear from you.
Go to www.mathsinthecity.com to check out examples of sites and to add your own.
To launch the site we ran a competition to find examples of maths in the cities around the world. Five winners were chosen that came to Oxford to celebrate. As part of their prize I constructed some special symmetrical objects which I named after the winners.
The Edward Mak Group: Set [C, C, C, C]=[18, 6, 2011, 1] Corresponds to an elliptic curve of conductor 365504323038715. Maths in the City site: Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The Samantha Keung Group: Set [C, C, C, C]=[18, 6, 2011, 2] Corresponds to an elliptic curve of conductor 365537511174131. Maths in the City site: Most stable shape – triangle.
The Nick Simmonds Group: Set [C, C, C, C]=[18, 6, 2011, 3] Corresponds to an elliptic curve of conductor 365570706018123. Maths in the City site: Route Planning – the perfect walking tour.
The Liz Meenan Group: Set [C, C, C, C]=[18, 6, 2011, 4] Corresponds to an elliptic curve of conductor 365603907571075. Maths in the City site: The mathematics of tiling.
The María Ángeles Gilsanz Group: Set [C, C, C, C]=[18, 6, 2011, 5] Corresponds to an elliptic curve of conductor 365637115833371. Maths in the City site: Wallpaper groups, Segovia.
Competition entries were so strong that we decided that five other entries deserved to be recognised as highly commended. These are:
Hong Kong Space Museum (East Wing) by Cassandra Lee
The Gateway Arch – A Trigonometric delight by Ronan Mehigan
The Golden Ratio in Manchester by Sam Watson and Nicky Watmore
The Wobbling Bridge by Thomas Woolley
Topology on the Metro by Christian Perfect