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2019 National Math Festival Heads to D.C. on May 4th to Prove Math is Fun and for Everyone

Top-Notch Speakers and Hands-On Activities Engage Young and Old

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”” target=”_blank”gt;#2019NMFlt;/agt;–The schedule
is set
for the 2019
National Math Festival
: a day of
hands-on activities, fascinating speakers, and inspiring performances,
showcasing how math is everywhere and full of surprises. Descending upon
D.C. for the third time on Saturday, May 4, 2019, this event is free and
open to the public. The festival will draw more than 20,000 people of
all ages to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 4

The 2019 National Math Festival is organized by the Mathematical
Sciences Research Institute
in cooperation with the Institute for
Advanced Study (IAS) and the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath).

“The festival fun will help young people and old understand how math is
everywhere around us: in art, dance and music, in puzzles and games, and
in how we understand our world,” explains MSRI Director David Eisenbud,
Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley.

The daylong event features creative short films, math-inspired dance and
musical performances, a magic show, team sports challenges, hands-on art
making, puzzles, games, demos, and more than a dozen accessible talks on
the playful side of math, and the math behind how the world works.

Experiential programs designed for young people but with escalating
levels of challenge for adults, include puzzles, games, and art-making
activities. Math organizations will host “make or take” resource pickup
stations and take-home hands-on projects for festival attendees and

Major activity presenters include the National Museum of Mathematics
(MoMath), the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival, MIND Research
Institute, Natural Math and Math On-A-Stick, the Bridges Organization,
and the Young People’s Project.

Schedule highlights include:

  • Dance of the Diagram—The NYC-based dance company
    BARKIN/SELISSEN PROJECT performs a piece commissioned by celebrated
    mathematician Dr. James Simons and inspired by patterns on a hexagonal
  • Young People’s Project National Flagway™ Tournament—Middle
    school players and coaches (high school mentors) from across the
    country participate in competition that combines speed, athleticism,
    and precision with the mastery of mathematics.
  • Data Did That!—A presentation exploring how data is a driving
    force from robots to Facebook, medicine, and shopping.
  • Cryptography: Secrets and Lies, Knowledge and Trust—Explore
    beautiful ideas and concepts underlying cryptography, and the amazing
    impact they have had on computer science.
  • Math, Ice Cores, and Planet Earth—Touch an ancient ice core,
    and learn cool ways to use math to understand climate and earth.
  • The Physics of Football—Through pro football video, former
    Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel will discuss how
    physics shows up on the football field.

“Mathematics is a universal language used to illuminate the world and
all of its mysteries. When one realizes the connection between math and
our lives, it never ceases to amaze and teach us something new,” says
Robbert Dijkgraaf, IAS Director and Leon Levy Professor. “You don’t need
any math background to enjoy these talks. Just come ready to have your
curiosity sparked.”

“MoMath is pleased to bring engaging, hands-on exhibits from the
nation’s only museum of math to Washington, D.C.,” says Cindy Lawrence,
Executive Director and CEO of the National Museum of Mathematics, which
joins MSRI in presenting the festival. “You can explore giant mazes,
slice shapes with lasers, build intricate tiling patterns with life-size
blocks, and much, much more,” she adds.

Sponsors of the 2019 National Math Festival include the Simons
Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Eric and Wendy Schmidt, the
National Science Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation,
Irwin and Joan Jacobs, and the Kavli Foundation.

Corresponding events celebrating the beauty and fundamental importance
of mathematics in everyday life will take place at more than 60 science
centers in more than 30 states. For updates on the National Math
Festival, visit,
or follow on Twitter @NatMathFestival or Facebook at

Note: The Festival will hold a School
Preview Day
for media and schools on May 3rd.
Reporters interested in covering should register by contacting Shawn
Flaherty at 703-554-3609.


Shawn Flaherty


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