2019 Festival Schedule

Thank you for joining us at the 2019 National Math Festival on Saturday, May 4th, 2019! A huge thank you to everyone who attended the National Math Festival events in Washington, DC and all the satellite events at science museums in 40 states around the U.S. We loved meeting you, learning about your math journeys and discoveries, playing games together, and celebrating the limitless power and joy of math as a community.

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and our collaborators at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) and the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) thank you for your support and contributions to making the day a wonderful success. Share your photos with us on social media using #2019NMF.

The 2019 Festival schedule is archived below. For updates about future National Math Festival events, subscribe to the Festival email newsletter.

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (All Day Activities)

All Day — Saturday, May 4, 2019

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Additions, the Shop at MoMath & Author Signings

Stop by Additions, the shop at MoMath, for all your festival gift needs. We have books, games, toys, and much more! Credit card only for purchases. Come meet some of your favorite authors—and have them sign their books! Schedule of… Learn more →

National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Film Room

Come to the movies! Your hosts will be mathematicians from around the country. These short film clip presentations will range from the physics of football, to the math behind movie animation, to a chance to meet winning filmmakers from the… Learn more →

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Board Games Galore

Bring your own, or join a game in play! There are many excellent, mathematically fascinating board games out there. Bring a favorite, and make new friends while learning new styles of play. Add to Google Calendar · Register for 2019 Festival updates… Learn more →

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Flagway Games and Flagway Tournament

Math with your sneakers on! Play a pickup game of Flagway, and cheer your favorite hometown team in the national Flagway Tournament. Meet Math Literacy Workers, students who train their peers (and you!) in the math skills to help everyone… Learn more →

The Young People’s Project (YPP)

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival

The Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival invites you to celebrate your mind with mathematics. Come see how mathematics can jump off the pages of a book, grow out of a board game, or emerge from a the dialogue of a cartoon…. Learn more →

Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Make or Take Spiral

Take the Festival home—or back to your classroom! Get connected to local and national math clubs, online resources, and inspiration of varied shapes and sizes. This is for you: families with kids of all ages, mathematics educators, and crafty hands-on… Learn more →

Art of Problem Solving

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Math-Art Exhibit and Platonic Paper Folding

Fold and assemble a Platonic solid–your choice of a dodecahedron (12 sides) or icosahedron (20 sides). Whether you choose to wear it, decorate with it, or give it to a friend is up to you! Then meander through the Math-Art… Learn more →

The Bridges Organization

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Mathical Book Readings

Check your schedule for five fantastic book readings, one for every age bracket! A lost dragon, a bedroom full of smelly sheep, billions of stars, middle school machinations, and some really, really big numbers await. (Get the Mathical list: mathicalbooks.org.)… Learn more →

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Mathical Reading Room & Coloring Corner

Take a break from the action, and curl up with a good book—or do some coloring! All ages are welcome in the Mathical Reading Room & Coloring Book Corner. Comfy furniture, good books, mathematical patterns to color, and washable markers… Learn more →

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

MathMINDs Games: South of the Sahara

MIND Research Institute took historical facts, ancient gameplay, mathematics, and the world around us to create a highly connected learning experience that adults and children can play through together. The South of the Sahara games are based on gameplay and… Learn more →

MIND Research Institute

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Natural Math and Math On-A-Stick

Make patterns, tile with turtles, count, spiral and play your way to mathy delight! The fun is designed for preschool and primary-aged children, yet offers plenty to engage the minds of tweens, teens, and adults. Can you program algorithms without a… Learn more →

Natural Math and Math On-A-Stick

Event time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Wonder-ful Math with MoMath!

Join the National Museum of Mathematics for a day of interactive fun! Slice shapes with lasers, explore giant mazes, crank up the math tunes, design a roller coaster, and more…. Enjoy these and other Math Midway classics plus experience the… Learn more →

National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

10:00 AM

Event time: 10:00 am - 10:30 am

Maypole Math Activity

Maypole dancing meets mathematical patterning—come join the dance! Mathematician and dancer Nancy Scherich will lead this event for ages 8 and up. Participants will weave ribbons into beautiful and mathematically interesting designs. Start your day at the Festival with this full-body, full-color… Learn more →

Nancy Scherich

10:15 AM

Event time: 10:15 am - 11:00 am

Data Did That!

From robots to Facebook, medicine, and shopping, data is a driving force in the world around us. How does this work? How do we store all that data and where does it come from? How do we transform data into Alexa,… Learn more →

Dr. Amelia Taylor

Event time: 10:15 am - 11:00 am

How Many Degrees are in a Martian Circle?

Who chose the number 360 for the count of degrees in a circle? Why that number? And why do mathematicians prefer not to use that number for mathematics? Why is the chosen direction of motion in mathematics counterclockwise when the… Learn more →

Dr. James Tanton

Event time: 10:15 AM

Impromptu Magic & Math – Learn Stunts to Dazzle your Friends and Family!

Magician Mark Mitton will teach you magic tricks, puzzles, and mathematical curiosities from the writings of the legendary Martin Gardner. Join us as we share secrets to feats you can perform with everyday objects, anywhere and anytime! Playing with surprise… Learn more →

Mark Mitton

Event time: 10:15 am - 11:00 am

Math and the Movies

Who made the ocean flow in “Moana”? Who made the snow swirl in “Frozen”? Mathematicians, that’s who! Come learn about the math behind the magic of modern movie visual effects! Add to Google Calendar · Register for 2019 Festival updates on Eventbrite… Learn more →

Dr. Joseph Teran

Event time: 10:15 am - 11:00 am

Math and Your Love Life

Suppose boys and girls in a school wish to date. Can we match-make so no couple breaks up? How does the math change for straight, gay and bi kids? In this talk, we’ll see math is a powerful matchmaker, and… Learn more →

Dr. Annie Raymond

Event time: 10:15 am - 11:00 am

Mathical Reading with Steve Light: “Have You Seen My Dragon?”

Join picture book creator Steve Light as he reads Have You Seen My Dragon? The story follows a boy through a cityscape rendered in intricate black and white pen-and-ink drawings. Pops of bright color provide a counting game for little… Learn more →

Steve Light

Event time: 10:15 am - 11:00 am

Safety Goggles Not Required: Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Your Laptop

Computational modeling drives everything from making animation more art-directable, to experimenting with theories of cancer growth without getting dirty, to the design of materials later used in engineering. In a “laptop laboratory,” mathematicians can explore how information would travel through… Learn more →

Dr. Suzanne L. Weekes

Event time: 10:15 am - 10:40 am

The Physics of Football

Physics underlies so many different aspects of our physical world. Through actual football video, come see how physics shows up on the football field with former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel! Add to Google Calendar · Register for 2019 Festival updates… Learn more →

John Urschel

11:00 AM

Event time: 11:00 am - 11:25 am

The Mathematical Games of Numberphile

Come see excerpts from two of Dr Holly Krieger’s favorite Numberphile videos, and grill her on the mathematics behind the scenes! You’ll learn about an addictive mathematical game of solitaire called the Dollar Game, and how to use math to… Learn more →

Dr. Holly Krieger

11:30 AM

Event time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Cryptography: Secrets and Lies, Knowledge and Trust

Can you play poker on the telephone with people you don’t trust? Amazingly, you can! Come find out how—the ideas involved, and related ones, also underlie internet security and e-commerce. The general public is well aware of the essential role… Learn more →

Dr. Avi Wigderson

Event time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Math, Ice Cores, and Planet Earth

Come and see inside an ancient ice core, and find out about cool ways you can use math to help keep Planet Earth healthy. 

Dr. Mary Lou Zeeman

Event time: 11:30 AM

Math, Music, History: 300 Years in 30 Minutes

Come tour some highlights of Math and Music over the past 300 years, with mathematician and violinist Dr. Lillian Pierce!

Dr. Lillian Pierce

Event time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Mathematics for Human Flourishing

Some think of mathematics as cold, lifeless, and unemotional. But mathematics can be a hopeful vehicle for building virtue and helping people flourish, and the practice of mathematics can help people connect to their deeply human desires — to play,… Learn more →

Dr. Francis Su

Event time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Mathical Reading with Judy Cox: “Sheep Won’t Sleep”

Join children’s author Judy Cox as she reads Sheep Won’t Sleep, a most wooly and unusual counting book!

Judy Cox

Event time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

The Creativity Code: The Art of Algorithms and the Algorithms of Art

As a species, we have an extraordinary ability to create works of art that elevate, expand and transform what it means to be human. Yet some believe that the new developments in AI and machine learning are so sophisticated that… Learn more →

Dr. Marcus du Sautoy

Event time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

The Mathematics of Social Choice

This talk will explore the paradoxes and possibilities of the mathematics of voting, which seeks to answer, among other questions: If more than two candidates run for office, by what procedure should the winner be chosen to most equitably reflect… Learn more →

Dr. Emily Riehl

11:45 AM

Event time: 11:45 am - 12:10 pm

Chasing Patterns (Film Screening)

A dreamy boy finds math in the world around him, in this 17-minute film by Monika Hennig. The film will be introduced by a representative from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, who supported its production. See scienceandfilm.org for more Sloan… Learn more →

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

12:30 PM

Event time: 12:30 pm - 12:55 pm

NOVA: Prediction by the Numbers

From the glitz of casinos and TV game shows to the life-and-death stakes of storm forecasts and the flaws of opinion polls that can swing an election, NOVA’s Prediction by the Numbers explores stories of statistics in action. Yet advances… Learn more →

NOVA

12:45 PM

Event time: 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm

A Fine Art of Problem Solving: How Mathematicians Use Braids to Save the Day, One Ribbon at a Time

People all around the world love braiding: weavers, hairdressers…and even mathematicians! Meet mathematician Nancy Scherich to learn how she uses dance to teach the mathematics of braids. Scherich was the 2017 winner of the annual Dance Your Ph.D. contest organized… Learn more →

Nancy Scherich

Event time: 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm

Math and the Movies

Who made the ocean flow in “Moana”? Who made the snow swirl in “Frozen”? Mathematicians, that’s who! Come learn about the math behind the magic of modern movie visual effects! Add to Google Calendar · Register for 2019 Festival updates on… Learn more →

Dr. Joseph Teran

Event time: 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm

Math and Your Love Life

Suppose boys and girls in a school wish to date. Can we match-make so no couple breaks up? How does the math change for straight, gay and bi kids? In this talk, we’ll see math is a powerful matchmaker, and… Learn more →

Dr. Annie Raymond

Event time: 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm

Math, Ice Cores, and Planet Earth

Whatever your talents, and whatever your passions, you can use them to help our planet. This is especially true if you enjoy math. Come and see inside an ancient ice core, and find out about cool ways you can use… Learn more →

Dr. Mary Lou Zeeman

Event time: 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm

Mathical Reading with Seth Fishman: “A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars”

Join star-gazing author Seth Fishman as he dives into humongous numbers. From the hundred billion trillion stars to a trampoline explanation of gravity, he engages the audience, asks the hard (er, silly) questions, and makes it clear that you are the one number that matters.

Seth Fishman

Event time: 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm

The Geometry of Chess

The chessboard is an eight by eight grid. Despite the limited size of the board, there exist some beautiful geometrical concepts in the game. We will briefly investigate the mathematics involved in some of these concepts. Add to Google Calendar ·… Learn more →

John Urschel

Event time: 12:45 PM

The Power of Primes

You’ve seen her on the YouTube channel Numberphile. Now join Dr. Holly Krieger as she explores the beautifully weird and weirdly beautiful world of pure mathematics — a world of chaotic attractors, narcissistic numbers, and more! 

Dr. Holly Krieger

1:15 PM

Event time: 1:15 pm - 1:40 pm

NSF We Are Mathematics Contest Winners: Short Film Debuts

Ever wonder what it means to do research in mathematics? Ever questioned what you can do with the things you learned in math class? Come meet some mathematical scientists who can answer these questions and see their award-winning videos. This… Learn more →

National Science Foundation (NSF)

2:00 PM

2:00 PM

Dance of the Diagram

Dance of the Diagram, choreographed by Kyla Barkin and Aaron Selissen, will delight all viewers, regardless of their previous mathematical credentials! The piece, commissioned by celebrated mathematician Dr. James Simons, was inspired by a beautiful piece of mathematics coming from geometry. As it goes in mathematics, so it goes on the dance floor, as dancers traverse specific sequences and patterns on a hexagonal diagram. Along…

Learn more →

Event time: 2:00 pm - 2:25 pm

“Navajo Math Circles” and Other MSRI Films

Join MSRI host Dr. Hélène Barcelo as she introduces three film trailers for recent MSRI public math films for public television: “Navajo Math Circles,” tracing the afterschool and summer activities of youth on the reservation, a biopic-in-production on Maryam Mirzakhani,… Learn more →

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)

Event time: 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Cryptography: Secrets and Lies, Knowledge and Trust

Can you play poker on the telephone with people you don’t trust? Amazingly, you can! Come find out how—the ideas involved, and related ones, also underlie internet security and e-commerce. The general public is well aware of the essential role… Learn more →

Dr. Avi Wigderson

Event time: 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Data Did That!

From robots to Facebook, medicine, and shopping, data is a driving force in the world around us. How does this work? How do we store all that data and where does it come from? How do we transform data into Alexa,… Learn more →

Dr. Amelia Taylor

Event time: 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

How Many Degrees are in a Martian Circle?

Who chose the number 360 for the count of degrees in a circle? Why that number? And why do mathematicians prefer not to use that number for mathematics? Why is the chosen direction of motion in mathematics counterclockwise when the… Learn more →

Dr. James Tanton

Event time: 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Mathematics for Human Flourishing

Some think of mathematics as cold, lifeless, and unemotional. But mathematics can be a hopeful vehicle for building virtue and helping people flourish, and the practice of mathematics can help people connect to their deeply human desires — to play,… Learn more →

Dr. Francis Su

Event time: 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Mathical Reading with Wendy Lichtman: “Secrets, Lies, and Algebra”

Secrets, Lies and Algebra: Join author Wendy Lichtman as she reads in the voice of Tess, an 8th grader who uses mathematical thinking to solve the real problems in her life. All those unknowns and variables in Tess’s friendships? Sounds like navigating junior high, doesn’t it?

Wendy Lichtman

Event time: 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Safety Goggles Not Required: Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Your Laptop

Computational modeling drives everything from making animation more art-directable, to experimenting with theories of cancer growth without getting dirty, to the design of materials later used in engineering. In a “laptop laboratory,” mathematicians can explore how information would travel through… Learn more →

Dr. Suzanne L. Weekes

Event time: 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

The Creativity Code: The Art of Algorithms and the Algorithms of Art

As a species, we have an extraordinary ability to create works of art that elevate, expand and transform what it means to be human. Yet some believe that the new developments in AI and machine learning are so sophisticated that… Learn more →

Dr. Marcus du Sautoy

2:45 PM

Event time: 2:45 pm - 3:10 pm

Movie Animation in “Moana” and “Frozen”

Come see clips from some of your favorite computer-animated movies, and peek at how mathematicians make snow flurries and ocean waves on the big screen. Add to Google Calendar · Register for 2019 Festival updates on Eventbrite (For a version of… Learn more →

Dr. Joseph Teran

3:15 PM

Event time: 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

A Fine Art of Problem Solving: How Mathematicians Use Braids to Save the Day, One Ribbon at a Time

People all around the world love braiding: weavers, hairdressers…and even mathematicians! Meet mathematician Nancy Scherich to learn how she uses dance to teach the mathematics of braids. Scherich was the 2017 winner of the annual Dance Your Ph.D. contest organized… Learn more →

Nancy Scherich

Event time: 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Impromptu Magic & Math – Learn Stunts to Dazzle your Friends and Family!

Magician Mark Mitton will teach you magic tricks, puzzles, and mathematical curiosities from the writings of the legendary Martin Gardner. Join us as we share secrets to feats you can perform with everyday objects, anywhere and anytime! Playing with surprise… Learn more →

Mark Mitton

Event time: 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Math, Music, History: 300 Years in 30 Minutes

Would you cook dinner from a 300-year-old recipe book? Make clothes from a 300-year-old pattern? Undergo treatment from a 300-year-old medical manuscript? Probably not. But what about playing a 300-year-old piece of music? Or studying a 300-year-old mathematical idea? Math… Learn more →

Dr. Lillian Pierce

Event time: 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Mathical Reading with Dr. Richard Schwartz: “Really Big Numbers”

Really Big Numbers: Hard enough for teens without a doubt, but crafty third-to-fifth graders should sneak in and really enjoy this talk, too! Dr. Richard Schwartz’s title is a colorful multi-age book that gives an intuitive feel for numbers. The… Learn more →

Dr. Richard Schwartz

Event time: 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

The Geometry of Chess

The chessboard is an eight by eight grid. Despite the limited size of the board, there exists some beautiful geometrical concepts in the game. We will briefly investigate the mathematics involved in some of these concepts. Add to Google Calendar ·… Learn more →

John Urschel

Event time: 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

The Mathematics of Social Choice

This talk will explore the paradoxes and possibilities of the mathematics of voting, which seeks to answer, among other questions: If more than two candidates run for office, by what procedure should the winner be chosen to most equitably reflect… Learn more →

Dr. Emily Riehl

Event time: 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

The Power of Primes

Prime numbers are the building blocks of arithmetic. But how do mathematicians think about primes? Come dive into the dizzying world of pure mathematics. Learn what prime numbers can tell us about Fermat’s Last Theorem, chaos theory, the Sierpinski triangle,… Learn more →

Dr. Holly Krieger