Pi Day events: public lecture & Sydney high school workshops

To celebrate the International Day of Mathematics in 2023 (aka “Pi Day 3.14”), a range of mathematical activities will take place across Sydney in the week commencing 13 March.

SMRI is organising three public events at the University of Sydney for all ages and levels of mathematics from 14–16 March: see descriptions below and register via Eventbrite free of charge.

Visit the official webpage of the International Day of Mathematics for a global calendar of events.

Pi Day Eve at UTS: Monday 13 March, 16:3018:00

Pi Day Eve at UTS

Pi Day celebrations will kick off at the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (Building 7, Level 5) at the University of Technology Sydney. More details and registration details are on the UTS event page.

We will have food, chat and break-out sessions on:

  • How to make money with calculus: Ito calculus and options pricing (Professor Tony Dooley)
  • Fibonacci Numbers, spirals and the structure of the galaxy (A/Professor Mary Coupland)
  • Game theory: Strategic decisions from bacteria to the boardroom (A/Professor Stephen Woodcock)

Public Lecture and reception: Tuesday 14 March, 18:0020:00, Messel lecture theatre (Sydney Nanoscience Hub)

Duals and duality lecture, Evariste Galois
Middle: Detail from Fight in front of the City Hall on 28 July 1830, Jean-Victor Schnetz (1833). Right: Portrait of Évariste Galois as a teenager.

University of Sydney mathematician Oded Yacobi will present “Duels and Duality: A fable about the life and mathematics of Évariste Galois”.

What does the French revolution, a deadly duel and squaring a circle have to do with the birth of modern algebra? In this talk, we’ll explore the amazing (and amazingly short) life of Évariste Galois, and the ideas he developed to solve problems that had bedevilled mathematicians for centuries.

We’ll explore the power of symmetry in mathematics, and how seemingly abstract ideas can have profound effects…even on our lives today.

This lecture is aimed at a broad audience, including those actively involved in mathematics or with a background in mathematics. Anyone with an interest in mathematics is encouraged to attend, including high school students.

Register for the public lecture via Eventbrite by 7 March.

Twist and Turn workshop: Wednesday 15 March, 16:3018:00, Susan Wakil Health Building

Understanding rational tangles with Euclidean algorithms

In this activity, we take a mathematical spin on tangling and untangling! We will consider a situation where we have two ropes and apply two possible operations: a twist and a turn. In this simple setup, we can create deceivingly complex tangles, but can we untangle them using the same two operations? We will answer this question by exploring the mathematics behind these tangles in a combination of hands-on activities and discussions.

This event will be presented by University of Sydney mathematician, Andy Tran.

The workshop is for senior high-school students in Sydney in years 10-12 who are studying maths. Considering taking higher level mathematics next year or at University? Come along!

Register via Eventbrite by 7 March.

Michael Denes and Frances Kuo

UNSW Public Lecture and reception: Wednesday 15 March, 18:0020:00, New South Global Theatre

UNSW Mathematics & Statistics will present two public lectures: “From waves to dimensionality: Two perspectives on researching Applied Maths”, followed by a reception.

For this special event at UNSW Sydney, we will hear from two Applied Mathematicians at different stages of their research careers:

Michael Denes, who won the 2022 TM Cherry Prize for the best student talk at the ANZIAM Annual Conference, recently completed his PhD in Applied Mathematics at UNSW.

Frances Kuo is a Professor in Applied Mathematics at UNSW who has won prestigious awards for her research, and has delivered several invited plenary talks at conferences across the globe.

Register free via Eventbrite.

Ruler-and-compass vs origami workshop: Thursday 15 March, 16:3018:00, Susan Wakil Health Building

Ruler-and-compass constructions and origami

In this workshop we’ll explore the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid’s ruler-and-compass constructions, and their mysteries that stumped mathematicians for millennia: trisecting angles and squaring circles.

We’ll compare the ruler and compass method of construction to the Japanese art of paper folding—also known as origami—and see which one can achieve more! Can you origami-trisect an angle? Can you origami-square a circle? The answers are rooted in the concept of “field extensions”, discovered by 19th century mathematician Evariste Galois.

This event will be presented by University of Sydney mathematician Dr Zsuzsanna Dancso from the School of Mathematics and Statistic’s Algebra Group.

The workshop is for senior high-school students in Sydney in years 10-12 who are studying maths. Considering taking higher level mathematics next year or at University? Come along!

Register via Eventbrite by 7 March.

Students stacking cups

UNSW Counting Conundrums workshop: Thursday 16 March, 16:3018:30, UNSW Quadrangle Room 1046

There are many situations in life where a problem can be solved by careful counting! Counting may seem like a simple task, but sometimes it can be surprisingly tricky. In this workshop, we will help four STEM workers with counting problems that have come up in their research, by making use of cups, cardboard, and collaboration.

This workshop will be presented by UNSW lecturer Dr Sean Gardiner, and is recommended for high school students in Years 9-12 with an interest in mathematics and problem-solving.

Register free via Eventbrite.

Larissa Fedunik-Hofman