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IMAGINARY - launching a new platform for collaborative mathematics and maths art at UNESCO

01 March 2013 Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach

The United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization headquarters in Paris will host the launch of “IMAGINARY – open mathematics”, a platform for collaborative maths communication. The launch is part of the Mathematics of Planet Earth Day and the opening of the first international crowdsourced science exhibition hosted at the platform.

IMAGINARY is created by the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, an institute of the Leibniz Association, and started as a maths and arts exhibition for the German Year of Mathematics 2008. It quickly became one of the most important travelling maths exhibition in the world, attracting more than 800,000 visitors in over 20 countries.

Now IMAGINARY has evolved into an open platform for the communication of mathematics. The platform enables the community to use all exhibits free of charge in their own exhibitions and to publish content using an open source license. It represents a new way of communicating science: collaborative, global, free and close to research. The platform is financed by the Klaus Tschira Stiftung. The Foundation promotes natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science, and champions new methods of scientific knowledge transfer, raising public awareness and appreciation for these fields.

Director of Oberwolfach Prof. Dr. Gert-Martin Greuel explains the core philosophy of the new platform: “The way we perceive and communicate mathematics is changing. The general public is longing for interactive museums showing actual research and highlighting open questions. With IMAGINARY we try to go one step further: the public not only visits museums or exhibitions, they create and stage them - in an intuitive manner! This way they become an integral part of the communication process - and science itself becomes participative.”

Mathematics of Planet Earth is the first exhibition created through and hosted at the new platform. It allows visitors to understand the planet, its diversity and its problems through maths. The content was created by teams from all around the world, and chosen by an international jury of renowned scientists and educators. It consists of interactive and physical modules, films and images and is part of the international initiative MPE2013, a project with more than 130 partners worldwide.

The platform will launch on March 5. The exhibition will be open from March 6 to March 8 from 10:00 to 17:45 at UNESCO, Hall Miollis, 7 place de Fontenoy, Paris 75007. All contents are free to be duplicated by schools, museums or anybody interested. Several museums already agreed to stage the exhibition, among them the Technikmuseum in Berlin and the National Museum of Natural History and Science in Lissabon.

Further information: (new platform will start on March 5)

Attached files

  • MPE Stereographic proyection

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