About Andreas Daniel Matt

I am mathematics communicator at the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach. I studied mathematics and computer science and did my PhD in mathematics in machine learning at the University of Innsbruck and the University of Buenos Aires. Since 2007, I am coordinating the project IMAGINARY. I also curated the MiMa, museum for minerals and mathematics in Oberwolfach, I am member of the Raising Public Awareness Commitee of the European Mathematical Society. And (at least equally important), I like travelling, culture, adventure, human beings.

e-day – A mathematical holiday celebrated on February 7th

Today, February 7th, 2018, is called e-day because e is approximately 2.718, and this date is written 2/7/18 in some parts of the world.

e, also called Euler’s Number after the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, is a very important constant that comes up in many different places in mathematics. The numer e was discovered by the Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli while studying compound interest where e arises as the limit of (1 + 1/n)n as n approaches infinity. e can also be calculated by summing:

The constant e appears naturally on the exponential function, which models growth. Hence, the same way that the constant π appears in everything that is round, the number e appears in everything that grows: size of baby animals, leaves in trees, bacteria populations, spreading of diseases, spirals in flowers and snails, radiactive decay of elements, money invested in a bank, processing power of computers… Everything that grows the faster the bigger it is follows an exponential law, and contains the number e.

By | February 7th, 2018|Uncategorized|1 Comment

IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowship Program – Apply now!

The IMU (International Mathematical Union) has recently launched the novel IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowship Program.

Thanks to a generous donation by the winners of the Breakthrough Prizes in Mathematics – Ian Agol, Simon Donaldson, Maxim Kontsevich, Jacob Lurie, Terence Tao and Richard Taylor – IMU with the assistance of FIMU (Friends of the IMU) and TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences) has launched a fellowship program to support postgraduate studies in a developing country, leading to a PhD degree in the mathematical sciences. The IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowships will offer a limited number of grants for excellent students from developing countries. The program will be administered by CDC (Commission for Developing Countries), a commission of IMU.

Professional mathematicians are invited to nominate highly motivated and mathematically talented students from developing countries who plan to complete a doctoral degree in a developing country, including their own home country. Nominees must have a consistently good academic record from the high school level and must be seriously interested in pursuing a career of research and teaching in mathematics.

By | April 27th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Greetings from Bibliotheca Alexandrina

I just received the info below on Bibliotheca Alexandrina and its new African Networks and I thought it makes sense to share it on mathemafrica. I really like the idea of historical places connecting to new technologies. Here is a link to a film (in French) about the historical library at Alexandria:


Greetings from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) in Egypt. We are pleased to announce the launch of “BA African Networks”. Below you will find a description of the networks. You are most welcome to explore our portal and our five networks through the following link. http://afn.bibalex.org/GeneralPortal.aspx

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) follows in the footsteps of the Ancient Library of Alexandria as a meeting point for cultures and civilizations. It aims to rise to the digital challenge in order to develop African innovation through the use of science and technology in networks that extend throughout Africa. The new goal set by the BA is to connect those with common interests and expertise to hasten the development of knowledge and enable immediate sharing of knowledge and contributions.

By | April 7th, 2016|English, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Mathemafrica and the NEF #2

On Monday we worked hard to bring our Maths exhibition exhibition to the Next Einstein Forum venue, and to setup everything.  Find below a few pictures! It was hard, time was short, logistics was tricky, but: the venue is amazing! We got the prime spot of the venue, just right at the main entrance – and the whole NEF organisation is very professional!

Find below some pictures of our “setup day”:


Packing all items (inside and on top of the car).


Mounting the exhibition (roll-ups, images on the wall, screens, touch-screens). A big part of the exhibition is about “Mathematics of Planet Earth”, we will also launch a new competition about open exhibits – so everybody can contribute with own exhibits.


The local NEF tech team help us to fix the images on the wall.


This is the final setup (the computers already turned off). On Tuesday, the exhibition start around 2 pm, in the morning the presidents of Senegal and Rwanda are expected to be at the NEF (and might also visit the exhibition)


This could be a good spot to take pictures… today many people already took selfies in front of our images.…

By | March 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Mathemafrica and the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) #1

Dear Mathemafrica readers,

I am sitting at the AIMS-Senegal institute in Mbour (about 1.5 hours drive South of Dakar) and together with my team member Sebastian and the AIMS-Senegal staff and students, we are preparing an interactive mathematics exhibition (as part of the IMAGINARY – open mathematics project).. It will be shown as of March 8 at the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), to be held at a huge conference venue just outside Dakar.

There will be many ministers, scientists, politicians, even presidents from (apparently all fifty-four) African countries – and also many international guests – joining the NEF, with the goal to discuss about scientific innovations, collaborations and solutions in Africa!

We have to plan to blog live from the NEF, with insights and views from participants. And of course, we will let you know about our exhibition, about a new competition, we will launch and everything happening around!

Prepare yourself for the NEF at:




And the Twitter hashtag: #AFRICASEINSTEINS

Please find a picture from our first technical setup yesterday at the AIMS Institute.…

By | March 6th, 2016|English, Event, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

AIMS-Senegal – picture story of a maths communication adventure

Dear all,

this is a picture story, so be prepared to see many pictures! And it is an adventure too, since we (I will explain later who is “we”) tried something quite new: an interactive highly technical mathematical exhibition in Senegal, including a road show with high school students and Master maths students, talks, conferences, workshops and discussions, and games! And: all in three days!

Let’s start:

Day 0:

The day before the opening of the exhibition and the start of the roadshow. And my first day in Senegal. I arrive around 1:30 am in the morning and spend the night in Dakar. At 11:00 I am picked up by a car from AIMS-Senegal, who is organising the event together with the Next Einstein Initiative and IMAGINARY. In the car, I meet two other international participants: Niane Kode from Senegal, who works at AIMS-Cameroon, and Marcos Cherinda from Mocambique, an ethno-matematician, who also attended the AIMS-IMAGINARY workshop in 2014.…

By | November 16th, 2015|English, Event, Level: Simple, Uncategorized|6 Comments

AIMS-Newsletter with a report on maths communication in Africa

Check out the latest issue of the AIMS newsletter. It features images and a report on the AIMS-IMAGINARY workshop on “Mathematics Communication in Africa” and the exhibition, shown at AIMS-South Africa in Muizenberg.

Read the full newsletter:

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By | December 8th, 2014|English, News|0 Comments

Mathematics in Africa – news from the EMS Newsletter

News from the EMS Newsletter, November 29, 2014:

1. CANP4, the fourth event in the Capacity and Network Project organized by the International Commission of Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) and supported by the International Council of Science (ICSU) held its first meeting in East Africa in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on September 1-12 204, with more than 80 participants from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, This event led to the creation of a new ‘East Africa Mathematics Education and Research Network’. The founding President is Dr Alphonse Uworwabayeho (Rwanda) and the founding Secretary is Dr. Angelina Bijura (Tanzania).

2. Call for Candidates for Ibni Prize 2014.
The Prize “Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh” has been created in memory of our colleague and to continue its commitment to Mathematics in Africa. The prize is awarded annually to a young mathematician from Central Africa or West Africa. Applications are evaluated by a scientific committee set up by CIMPA.…

By | November 30th, 2014|English, Level: Simple, News|0 Comments

The fractals at the heart of African design

I am a mathematician, and I would like to stand on your roof.’ That is how Ron Eglash greeted many African families he met while researching the fractal patterns he’d noticed in villages across the continent.

Watch this TED Video by Ron Eglash, an ethno-mathematician, who studies the way math and cultures intersect. He has shown that many aspects of African design — in architecture, art, even hair braiding — are based on perfect fractal patterns.

Reference: TED web page.

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By | November 24th, 2014|Background, English|1 Comment

Mathematics Communication in Africa

A workshop-exhibition to understand and plan maths communication and maths outreach activities in Africa, organized by the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMSNEI), IMAGINARY and the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach. The workshop and exhibition will be hosted at AIMS-South Africa, in Muizenberg, Cape town.

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By | November 7th, 2014|Event|2 Comments