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|0 Comments

A foray into a new number system – an introduction to imaginary numbers

This is the introduction which I give to my first year mathematics class when they see imaginary numbers for the first time. I thought I’d type it up here as it’s received good reactions the two times that I’ve introduced it in this format. Note that this probably isn’t the canonical way to introduce complex numbers, but then most of my lectures don’t necessarily take the normal route…

Complex Numbers, a philosophical detour

Before we get on to talking about imaginary numbers and complex numbers, let’s try and break down our preconceptions about numbers in general.

We look at the world around us and see many things which we categorise. We see a computer, a piece of paper, we see other people, we see our hands. These are labels that we use to categorise the world, but these objects seem very physical and very real. We rarely question their existence, though if one wants to take the Cartesian view, we should also question the reality we are in.…

By | November 11th, 2014|Background, English, Level: Simple|0 Comments

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