Exposition aims at showing people that math can be fun

Want to know how waves move in space or how eco-systems can be engineered? Head to the exposition, ‘Mathematics of Planet Earth’, at the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (VITM) on Kasturba Road here.

The exposition was inaugurated on Friday by renowned scientist Roddam Narasimha. The exposition has been organised by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research’s (TIFR) Centre for Applicable Mathematics and International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, and has been designed by the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology.

The exposition, which will be at VITM till December 1, has something for people of all ages. Children streamed into the hall, along with a sprinkling of parents, teachers and graduate students. Within minutes, the entire crowd had gathered around an exhibit blowing bubbles. While the kids were enthralled by the size of the bubbles, adults began murmuring about surface tension, pressure and the like. Such was the case with almost all the displays.

The initiative is aimed at encouraging students to pursue research in theoretical and applied mathematics, fields that have been adversely affected by the overwhelming rush towards professional courses.

Amit Apte, TIFR faculty, said, “We want to show people that mathematics is fun. People complain that mathematics is boring; but we want to show them that formulae and equations are not everything there is to the subject.”

The expo contained surprisingly few Greek symbols for a mathematics event. Prof. Apte also said children were not the only target audience — while some exhibits were easy to understand, others demonstrated higher level concepts.

A team of mathematicians from TIFR who conceptualised the project was present.

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