2019 Festival: Math/Creativity Video Series

The 2019 National Math Festival is proud to present the Math/Creativity Video Series. A collection of short form, behind the scenes clips produced by many of the 2019 Festival’s presenters, Math/Creativity aims to inspire and spark mathematical joy while celebrating the unity of math and the arts. Explore the videos below!


BARKIN/SELISSEN Project – Math/Creativity Series: 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 their journeys, they encounter intimacy, wild rebellion, and the inevitability of being canceled out upon arrival. Only a select few “un-swallowed” may tiptoe back to the mysterious center and continue another cycle of absorbing and imparting information. It takes a well-oiled machine to function under the rules of this diagram during the day; however, there is no accounting for what happens at night!


Dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf + IAS – Math/Creativity Series: A proud partner of the 2019 National Math Festival, The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), founded in 1930 as an independent institution in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of the world’s leading centers for basic research in the sciences and humanities, where the permanent faculty and visiting scholars have the freedom to pursue some of the deepest theoretical questions without pressure for immediate outcomes.


Dr. Marcus du Sautoy – Math/Creativity Series: 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 they can learn what it means to be human – that they can crack the creativity code. Based on his new book, The Creativity Code, Dr. Marcus du Sautoy examines what these new developments might mean, for both the creative arts and his own subject, mathematics. Are there limits to what algorithms can achieve, or might they be able to perfectly mimic human creativity? Could they even help mathematicians to see more deeply into the complex mathematical problems with which we so often wrestle?


MoMath – Math/Creativity Series: Join the National Museum of Mathematics at the #2019NMF for a day of interactive fun! Slice shapes with lasers, explore giant mazes, crank up the math tunes, design a roller coaster, and more. MoMath is also pleased to provide an opportunity for you to take home a little bit of MoMath: they’ll be setting up an outpost of Additions, the shop at MoMath, for all your festival gift needs.


MAA + James Tanton – Math/Creativity Series: Join the mathematicians of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) to learn about the MAA American Mathematics Competitions and the first place U.S. International Mathematical Olympiad team. Teachers, check out Curriculum Inspirations led by MAA’s Mathematician-at-Large, Dr. James Tanton, and make sure to catch his talk at the 2019 Festival on “How Many Degrees are in a Martian Circle?” MAA activities are aimed at the middle school and high school communities.


Seth Fishman + Mathical Books – Math/Creativity Series: Join star-gazing author Seth Fishman as he dives into the humongous numbers that makes up the world. From a hundred billion trillion stars to 10 quadrillion ants, from a trampoline explanation of gravity to a jar filled with an unknown quantity of pennies, he engages the audience, asks the hard (er, silly) questions, and makes it clear that there’s one number that really matters: you.


Southern Maryland Math Circle – Math/Creativity Series: Come make a hexaflexagon at the National Math Festival! Hexaflexagons are wonderful tactile paper toys that flex to transition between colorful states, and lead to interesting mathematical puzzles. This activity is appropriate for adults, teachers, and kids age 10 and up. The Southern Maryland Math Circle meets at the Lexington Park Library with fun math activities for middle school and high school students and their parents.


Dr. George Hart + The Bridges Organization – Math/Creativity Series: Experience The Bridges Organization’s Math-Art Exhibit on at the #2019NMF on May 4th in Washington, D.C.! Who knew math could be so inspirational, or patterns so beautiful? Come be surprised by the way artists use math, and mathematicians use art, to make a statement about the universe.


Dr. Christopher Danielson / Math On-A-Stick – Math/Creativity Series: Math On-A-Stick invites you to come and 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 computer? Can you learn calculus before you learn to tie your shoes? Where is algebraic geometry in paper snowflakes? Join the 2019 Festival volunteers from Math-On-A-Stick and Natural Math to play with accessible, joyful, beautiful activities! Kind math adventures await.


ThinkFun Games – Math/Creativity Series: ThinkFun aims to be the spark that ignites young minds by translating the brilliant ideas of mathematicians, engineers, and inventors into addictively fun educational games that teach 21st century thinking skills and make learning fun – at any age. Join them at the 2019 National Math Festival to try your hand at their games, learn about their Math Dice Classroom Program, and more. The games will be geared towards an audience ages 5-8 and up.


Wendy Lichtman + Mathical Books – Math/Creativity Series: Come listen to Wendy Lichtman read from her book Secrets, Lies and Algebra and learn how the main character, Tess, uses math metaphors to help her examine her friendships and solve a family mystery. How, she wonders, can the quadratic formula help her learn which of her friends betrayed a secret? Does gossip travel like the football you throw, the tennis ball you hit, the rock you skip over a lake – are they all parabolas? Join us at the National Math Festival to find out!


Dr. Scott Kim / Math Monday – Math/Creativity Series: Puzzles are to math what stories are to language, says noted puzzle designer, author, and mathematical artist Dr. Scott Kim. Want to make math games a weekly club or lunchtime event at your school? Come meet Scott Kim at the 2019 National Math Festival and check out his online resources for starting a Math Monday club at your school. And while you’re exploring his site, take note of all the cool math games and puzzles he recommends!