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The Amazing World of MC Escher

M.C. Escher, not the DJ but the Dutch graphic artist, is well known as being hugely influenced by mathematics. His woodcuts, lithographs and mezzotints (me neither) contain everything from warped perspective and optical illusions that play around with notions of distance and space, to beautiful tilings and tessellations with a distinctly mathematical flavour.

The first major UK show of Escher’s work has been put together by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, in Edinburgh, and includes nearly 100 works from the collection of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands. It will be on display at the Scottish National Gallery from 27 June to 29 September, after which it’ll move to the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London from 14 October through to 17 January.

Both exhibitions have an entry cost, although there’s also a free event taking place at the Scottish National Gallery on 27 August, in which mathematician Professor Ian Stewart will talk about the mathematics in Escher’s work, apparently ‘in simple non-technical terms and with many illustrations’ (because people who go to art galleries presumably wouldn’t like it otherwise).

More information

The Amazing World of MC Escher, 27 June to 29 September, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Event – Escher: A Mathematician’s Eye View, Prof. Ian Stewart, 27 August, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

MC Escher, 14 October to 17 January 2016, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Registration for the 2015 MathsJam conference is now open

Photo credit: Dave Hughes

Photo credit: Dave Hughes

The MathsJam annual conference is a magical time when maths geeks converge on a conference centre in the middle of nowhere near Stone and spend a weekend sharing their favourite puzzles, games, and mind-blowing maths facts.

Registration for the 2015 weekend, taking place on 6-7 November, has now been opened. More information about the conference, and how to register, can be found on the MathsJam Conference website.

We’ll all be there: join us!

Maths at the Cheltenham Science Festival, 2015

cheltenham science festival 2015

Next week, Cheltenham takes a break from being the home of horse racing and literary and music festivals, and generally being a regency spa town, to put on their amazing Science Festival. There’s a decent amount of maths in the programme, so here’s a round-up of the maths on offer (leaving aside, of course, the fact that all science is maths, there’s also a bunch of science events you might be interested in too).

George Boole at 200

Happy birthday AND many happy returns to George Boole, 200 this year!

george boole birthday

The Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, has helped launch University College Cork’s year of festivities celebrating Boole, their first professor of maths and the inventor of Boolean algebra.

The year’s activities will include the restoration of Boole’s first home in Cork, an official film biography, an art exhibition of “contermporary art and mathematical data”, three conferences in maths and computer science, and of course a youth outreach programme. All the relevant information is available at a swishy new site set up for the purpose, georgeboole.com.

I’ve heard the year will end with a celebratory curry – and plenty of NAND bread to go around! Geddit?! (groan – Ed.)

More information

George Boole 200 website

An Taoiseach launches George Boole celebrations – press release from University College Cork

Via Irish Maths Archive on Twitter

Happy Birthday, MAA!

With all the attention we’ve been giving the LMS’s 150th birthday celebrations, it’s only fair to note that the Mathematical Association of America is 100 this year.

The MAA is a fantastic organisation, as the famous maths people in this video testify:

As is the way of these things, there are events throughout the year to celebrate the MAA’s centennial; all the info is on the MAA’s website. The main event is the MAA’s annual MathFest, which is happening in Washington, D.C. at the start of August.

Sierpiński Carpet Project

Project organisers José and David

Project organisers José and David

If you enjoyed the magnificent ridiculousness of Matt Parker’s MegaMenger international fractal building project, but would prefer something slightly lower-dimensional, we’ve found the collaborative international fractal-building project for you!

A team led by José L. Rodríguez at the University of Almería, in Spain (who also built a Menger Sponge for MegaMenger) are attempting to build a giant Sierpiński carpet, using green and purple stickers, and an army of unwitting excited school children.

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