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Maths Careers Poster Competition 2013/14

The IMA Maths Careers website has launched its annual poster competition. This time in collaboration with the British Museum’s Citi Money Gallery and part of the Mathematics of Planet Earth, the competition asks entrants to design a single global currency:

Imagine there was a single global currency; what would it look like? How big would it be? What would it be worth?
Your poster should be a pitch to the ‘Bank of the planet Earth’, outlining why your design should be commissioned for minting. The poster must include:

  • The obverse and reverse design for the coin or note
  • Technical specifications (dimensions, weight and material)
  • The exchange rate to pounds sterling (GBP) and two other currencies with the conversion method shown

The poster should be no larger than A4. Colour may be used in coin designs for effect. There are three age categories: 11-13, 14-16 and 17-19. One entry per person per category only is allowed.

The main prize in each age group is an Android tablet and family tickets to the latest exhibition at the British Museum. The deadline for entries is midnight on 15th January, 2014.

Full rules and to submit entries: Poster Competition 2013 / 2014 at Maths Careers.

via Colin Wright on Twitter

Art for a maths department

I don’t think the university maths department I work in has enough art in it. I have gazed covetously upon the walls of other departments I visit, covered with beautiful mathematically-inspired paintings and inspirational posters, serving as a backdrop to cabinets full of geometrical curiosities. I recently suggested to our Head of School that we could buy some art, and he said “That’s a good idea. Send me some suggestions.”

I was pretty delighted with that response, so I spent an enjoyable hour trawling the internet for art that would inspire and enrich our students and staff. We don’t really have anywhere obvious to put sculptures, so I wanted something you can hang on a wall. I had no idea how much money the Head of School was thinking of spending, so I assumed the worst and tried to stick to cheap posters and prints as a starting point. I wasn’t just looking for art – anything to decorate the walls, even if it ends up teaching the students something, is desirable.

My first port of call was my Arty Maths blog. I’ve been collecting nice bits of art that invoke or involve maths (and not art created purely to represent maths) for almost two years now. Unfortunately, it turns out I’ve almost exclusively been collecting sculptures and video works. That meant I had to do some googling!

Because I found some nice things, and in case anyone else is tasked with decorating a maths department and needs ideas, here’s what I found: