National Math Festival

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The National Math Festival brings together some of the most fascinating mathematicians of our time to inspire and challenge participants to see math in new and exciting ways. For more information, visit www.nationalmathfestival.org.

The 2021 National Math Festival is moving online!

Details are coming soon about events taking place December 2020 through March 2021, plus a concentration of live, interactive online events during the Festival weekend, April 16-18, 2021. Learn more at the 2020-2021 Festival website.

2019 Festival

20,000 math lovers of all ages to Washington, D.C. and science museums around the U.S. on May 4, 2019.

You can explore the 2019 Festival's presenters, sponsors, and more at the 2019 National Math Festival website.

2017 Festival

20,000 math lovers of all ages joined MSRI, the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), and the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) for the second National Math Festival. The 201 Festival took place on Saturday, April 21 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, D.C. and featured lectures, hands-on demos, art, films, performances, puzzles, games, children’s book readings, and more for math lovers of all ages.

You can explore the 2017 Festival's presenters, sponsors, and more at the 2017 National Math Festival website.

2015 Festival

Tens of thousands joined in the country’s first National Math Festival in Washington, D.C. April 16-18, 2015. The inaugural event was organized by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and The Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution. The celebration featured three days of public and private activities celebrating the importance of math in our lives.

Great Teachers = Great Students: Building the Profession of Math Teachers in America

  • Leading members of Congress including Senators Reid, Schumer, Alexander, Franken, Murray, and Leader Pelosi shared remarks on the importance of math education in global leadership. The event featured a high level of awareness and interest in teacher training and professional development programs, including the development of a national STEM Master Teacher Corps.

Finding Common Ground: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, Where We’re Going

  • Leading voices in the math education profession came together to discuss college and career-readiness standards and mathematics teacher preparation and licensing. The forum, co-sponsored by MSRI and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), shared best practices and next steps regarding implementation of standards across states.
  • William McCallum, co-author of the state standards:

    Deborah Ball, teacher licensure advocate:

    Act from Thought: The Case for Basic Science Research

    This gala dinner, chaired by Jim and Marilyn Simons and co-chaired by Roger Strauch and Charles Simonyi, made an eloquent case for the importance of basic science research.

    Many governments are currently redirecting money for basic research into more applied areas. Tempting as this is, it risks losing the spectacular payoffs that basic research has provided in the past — and can provide in the future.

    Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank:

    Eric Lander, co-chair of President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and one of the architects of the Human Genome Project, on "The Miracle Machine":

    Eric Lander and Jim Simons on the beauty of knowledge, and on investments in the social good (in-depth interviews with Eric Lander and Jim Simons can be found on the Numberphile YouTube channel):

    MSRI board chair Roger A. Strauch and IAS board chair Charles Simonyi, both technology entrepreneurs, traded anecdotes about their fathers, both theoretical physicists who knew the importance of basic science research:

    Mathical: Books for Kids from Tots to Teens

    April 2015 marked the first annual awarding of the Mathical: Books for Kids from Tots to Teens prize. Awarded by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC), the Mathical Prize recognizes the most inspiring math-related fiction and nonfiction books for youth of all ages.

    Selection committee co-chairs have included American children’s writer Jon Scieszka (guysread.com, The Math Curse), Rebecca Goldin (Professor, Director of Research at George Mason University, statistician), and Jordan Ellenberg (John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the author of the New York Times best-seller How Not To Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking ), with additional committee members comprised of teachers, librarians, early childhood experts and mathematicians.

    The National Math Festival

    The National Math Festival is the country’s first national festival dedicated to discovering the delight and power of mathematics in everyday life.

    The Festival brought together performances, hands-on demonstrations, lectures, and exhibitions. Events took place at the Smithsonian’s Enid A. Haupt Garden, the S. Dillon Ripley Center, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of African Art, and the Freer and Sackler Galleries.