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Math & Cultural

2018 Celebration of Mind Festival: Math, Magic, Puzzles, Games, & more! October 21, 2018 (01:00 PM PDT - 05:00 PM PDT)
Parent Program: --
Location: SLMath: Eisenbud Auditorium, Baker Board Room, Commons Room, Atrium

Sunday, October 21, 2018 from 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)
17 Gauss Way, Berkeley, CA 94720 (Directions)

Come celebrate math with puzzles, games, magic, stories, and more! Kids ages 8 and up, and grown-ups who are kids at heart, will enjoy this afternoon filled with hands-on math activities and presentations.

The event honors the life and work of Martin Gardner, former Scientific American columnist who inspired a generation of mathematicians and recreational math enthusiasts. In the spirit of Martin Gardner's love of Alice in Wonderland and with Halloween around the corner, come "down the rabbit hole" and explore with us!

This event is free and open to the public! Questions? Contact Jennifer Murawski at jmurawski@msri.org. 

Download event flyer for printing or sharing (8.5x11 inches, PDF)

Advance registration is requested, but not required. Click here to sign up online.


2018 Event Schedule

All events take place inside MSRI's building at 17 Gauss Way, Berkeley (above Lawrence Hall of Science).

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES (1st and 2nd floors)

1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Hands-On Math Activities and Displays

  • California Mathematics Festival: Join us for a hands-on problem-solving fair, California Mathematics Festival style! Everybody in your family from grandma to little brother can experience a dozen exciting math activities. You don’t have to watch; you’ll find problems you can do! Come have fun doing math with your whole family.

  • Elwyn and Jennifer Berlekamp Foundation: Try to trap your opponent in the Game of Amazons; learn the trick of winning at perennial favorite Dots and Boxes; and get caught in a loop with Moebius Paper Crafts

  • Glen Whitney: Join National Museum of Mathematics co-founder and mathematical artist Glen Whitney for a giant group sculpture build of a dual helix that with your help will grow to be three stories tall!

  • Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival: Speed Rubik's Cube Demo: Meet Sydney Weaver, a speedcuber from South Carolina who averages 10 seconds to solve the standard Rubik's Cube! Sydney's amazing speed demonstrations include being able to solve the cube using only her feet - don't miss the chance to learn from one of the best!
  • Dr. Carlo Sequin (UC Berkeley): "Soap Films Suspended on Knots" Models & Demonstrations

    Following Dr. Sequin's stage talk of the same title (see below), he will share a display of various interlinked loops and knots in the form of plastic models made on inexpensive 3D-printers, with the challenge to identify the knots that were used to form these surfaces.

  • Dr. Henry Segerman (Oklahoma State University): Mathematical 3-D Printed Objects to Explore

    Following Dr. Segerman's stage talk on hyperbolic honeycombs, you can join him to explore his mathematical 3D-printed objects. Dr. Segerman has been regularly featured on Numberphile and his mathematical objects are fun for all ages!

  • MSRI: MSRI staff will host hands-on  math activities for ages 8 to adult around Chern Hall, including a Zometool bubble station, mathematical coloring corner, and more!

  • Mathical Reading Nook: Curl up with a good book in the Hearst Library and explore 50+ titles that have won the Mathical Book Prize for ages 2-18!


These short presentations will knock your socks off!

1:15-1:45 PM

Dr. Henry Segerman (Oklahoma State University)

We can describe any of the five platonic solids with only two numbers: the number, p, of sides on each face, and the number, q, of those faces that meet at each vertex. The pair {p,q} is called the Schläfli symbol for the polyhedron. By changing p and q, we can also describe regular tilings of the euclidean and hyperbolic planes, and by extending to three numbers, {p,q,r}, we can describe regular tilings of three-dimensional spaces. I'll talk about a project Roice Nelson and I worked on, trying to draw some sort of picture of every length-three Schläfli symbol, from {3,3,3} to {∞,∞,∞}.

2:00-2:30 PM
SOAP FILMS SUSPENDED ON KNOTS (Interactive Presentation)
Dr. Carlo Sequin (UC Berkeley)

Suppose you dip a wire model of a mathematical knot, such as a trefoil of a Figure-8 knot, into a soap solution – what kind of surface would the soap film form?   Results will be shown for various interlinked loops and knots in the form of plastic models made on inexpensive 3D-printers. The talk will be followed by a display of many such models, with the challenge to identify the knots that were used to form these surfaces.


2:45-3:15 PM 
Brady Haran (Journalist and Filmmaker)

Meet Brady Haran of YouTube's Numberphile channel! 

4:00-5:00 PM
MATH & MAGIC (Interactive Presentation)
Mark Mitton

Mark Mitton is a professional magician who is fascinated by using magic to better understand how we see the world. In addition to performing at private and corporate events all over the world, and creating magic for film, television, the Broadway stage, and Cirque du Soleil, Mitton tirelessly explores the theme of ‘Misdirection’ from an interdisciplinary standpoint. He regularly presents on ‘Perception’ at universities and conferences in North America and Europe, including the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and has lectured with the late Nobel laureate Dr. Gerald Edelman of The Neurosciences Institute. Mitton has performed at festivals in Europe and Asia; at the Olympic Games; in war-torn Liberia; in hospital wards around New York City; and in a Mexican orphanage. His magical hands are featured in a They Might Be Giants video.


Parking & Transportation

To reach MSRI by public transit, take the AC Transit 65 Euclid/Lawrence Hall of Science bus route to the Lawrence Hall of Science, and use the parking lot stairs to reach MSRI. (You may also be able to exit at Grizzly Peak Blvd. and Centennial Drive and walk via Gauss Way.)

To reach MSRI by ride share service, use the address 17 Gauss Way, Berkeley, CA 94720. 

Balloons = MSRI Parking Lot entrance and MSRI building. The road to MSRI, Gauss Way, is accessible from Centennial Drive. 

For a map of available parking, click here. 


Free parking is available in the "MSRI Only Parking" lot level above the Lawrence Hall of Science parking lots (enter from Centenntial Drive). Take a free MSRI event permit from the box at the base of the stairs to display on your dashboard. A very limited number of handicapped parking spaces are available at the entrance to MSRI for those with Disabled Person Parking placards.

Permit parking in the Space Science Laboratory lots is by UC permit only, enforced 24/7. MSRI has a limited number of free day-use permits for these spots, available on a first-come, first-served basis in our lobby. **Please note that ongoing construction around the SSL Annex has somewhat limited parking in this area. 

Free parking is also available on Grizzly Peak Blvd (5-minute walk). Overflow fee-based parking is available in the Lawrence Hall of Science "East Lot" and "Terrace" parking lots (payment due in front of Lawrence Hall of Science).


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