One year ago, the Year of Mathematics in Pomerania was inaugurated at the University of Gdańsk. To mark the occasion the UG’s Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics organised thirty important and dynamic events throughout the region, including several hundred competitions, popular science lectures, presentations, exhibitions, and mathematical games, as well as 110 workshops. More than 6,000 people took part. The closing ceremony for the Year of Mathematics in Pomerania took place at Gdańsk University of Technology and was attended by the rectors of local universities, representatives of autonomous government and the co-organisers, as well as teachers and pupils from local schools.
The Year of Mathematics in Pomerania was announced by the Pomeranian Regional Council on the initiative of three local universities - the University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk University of Technology and the Pomeranian University in Słupsk. The initial idea came from the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics at the University of Gdańsk. Throughout 2015, events were held with the aim of popularising mathematics and combatting the negative stereotypes connected with this branch of science.
The concluding conference took place on 21 January at Gdańsk University of Technology and was opened by the Vice-Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Krzysztof Trawicki. Jacek Naliwajek from Radio Gdańsk hosted a meeting with the rectors of Pomeranian universities, Professor Bernard Lammek from the University of Gdańsk, Professor Henryk Krawczyk from Gdańsk University of Technology and Professor Roman Drozd from the Pomeranian University in Słupsk. The rectors shared with listeners not only anecdotes on the subject of mathematics in their own lives, but also reflections on the present state and the future of mathematics.
Bernard Lammek from the University of Gdańsk emphasised that:
“You have to be born a good mathematician, but all you need to use maths proficiently in everyday life is sound knowledge passed on by equally sound teachers. Mathematics is not difficult, but it has to be taught by well-educated and decently paid teachers.”
During the conference representatives of those cities and districts in the Pomeranian region where mathematics meetings had been organised with great enthusiasm were thanked and presented with a symbolic statuette. Thanks were also extended to the co-organisers of the Year of Mathematics in Pomerania – the Teacher Education Centre in Gdańsk, the In-Service Teacher Training Centre in Słupsk, the Regional Centre for Creative Teaching in Gdańsk, and representatives of sponsoring and partner companies in the project. To conclude, Adam Krawiec, Director of the Department of Education and Sport at the Office of the Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, held a lecture entitled “Mathematics from a Long-Term Perspective: Tools to Support Education in the Pomeranian Voivodeship”.
The conference was accompanied by a mathematical festival with competitions, games, amusements, presentations and meetings, all aimed at pupils from local schools.
As participants and organisers unanimously agreed, the Year of Mathematics surpassed original expectations. The events were attended by a combined total of almost 200,000 people. All over the region schools, institutions, foundations, local governments and parents all joined in. For the whole year there were various events to promote mathematics – parties, contests, maths paper chases, competitions, open classes, exhibitions, screenings of maths-related films, lectures, seminars, conferences, workshops, mathematics county fairs and happenings. Mathematical newspapers were also started up and there were even fashion shows.
The Year of Mathematics at the University of Gdańsk
During the Year of Mathematics in Pomerania, the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics of the University of Gdańsk organised thirty important and dynamic events throughout the region including several hundred competitions, popular science lectures, presentations, exhibitions, amusements and mathematical games, and as many as 110 workshops. Over 6,000 people took part – children, pupils at all levels of education, teachers and local residents of all ages.
Mention should be made of some of the most interesting: the All-Poland Academic ‘Mat2Tab 2015’ Competition (creating didactic material to help in the teaching of mathematics), mathematical pupil lectures, a mathematical origami competition, a comic competition, a secondary-school mathematical League, a mathematical garden (maths for the youngest) and the Pomeranian Night of Mathematics , which took place on 13t-14 March 2015, and the Day of Pi.
For exceptional events such as the seminars “No career without Mathematics” and “Mathematics as a vital Component of Culture and Civilisation”, over 2,500 pupils and teachers visited the University of Gdańsk.
Mathematics was also a source of artistic, and even culinary, inspiration. The faculty held an exhibition of art inspired by mathematics, and students took part in a cooking competition inspired by maths “Maths on a Plate” – Delicacies for the Year of Mathematics”.
One of the most important initiatives was the first edition of the Pomeranian Mathematical Matches. Ninety schools and more than 1,000 pupils from the whole region took part in the tournament. Every match was a festival of mathematics and the entertainment resulted in fresh contacts, friendships and cooperation amongst schools, pupils and teachers.
Many of the events organised as part of the Year of Mathematics in Pomerania on the initiative of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics of the University of Gdańsk have taken on a cyclical nature and in years to come will prove fruitful in further meetings to promote mathematics amongst the pupils, teachers and residents of Pomerania.
More information available at: https://mat.ug.edu.pl/rm2015/
Dr Beata Czechowska-Derkacz, University of Gdańsk spokesperson