Celebration of Mind - Past Parties, School Events and more:
Celebration of Mind 2011 in CHICAGO
Approximately 80 people attended the “Chicago” edition of Celebration of Mind II on the evening of October 21, 2011, at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, IL. The event was hosted by Max Railing, a junior at the high school.
Max has attended 5 G4Gs (since he was 7 years old) – and had a wealth of information and items to display about Martin Gardner. His father is a highly regarded close-up magician and book collector who has an extensive collection of many books and items relating to Gardner. Max borrowed freely from this collection to host the Celebration Party.
Two mechanical puzzle collectors – Norman Sandfield and Bill Cutler – displayed a range of wonderful puzzles from their collections. Max arranged several dozen tables with activities, books, and assorted items relating to Martin Gardner’s interests. Max’s classmates from the National Honor Society assisted with the displays.
There were various displays of optical illusions and recreational math items that Martin wrote about. In addition, there were tables displaying the various categories of books from Martin’s vast output: Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland; literature (Ancient Mariner and Casey at the Bat), relativity, skepticism and puzzles. There was a Zome activity table with geometric bubbles.
There were 40 other displays along with copies of the associated “Mathematical Games” articles from Scientific American. In part, these included Hexaflexagons, Mandelbrot’s fractals, Anamorphic Art and the art of Escher, Polynominoes, Magic Squares, Tangrams, Conway’s Game of Life, Soma Cube, Topology and the Klein Bottle, the Ambigrams of Scott Kim, the Rising Hourglass Mystery, Raymond Smullyan’s logic puzzles, Geometric Vanishes, Origami, Packing Puzzles, Rubik’s Cube, Science Toys, the optical effects from Jerry Andrus, the game of Nim, Sam Loyd’s puzzles, and many more.
After 90 minutes of viewing the displays, the attendees moved to the high school auditorium for the Evening Magic Show that was preceded by a short introduction to mechanical puzzles presented by Norm Sandfield. Max introduced the 5 magicians who amazed the student attendees and their families.
Max took the initiative to orchestrate the Celebration of Mind party and asked a couple of his instructors to be his sponsors for the event to be held at the school. The math and science teachers were very supportive, as well as the principal, Dan Krause. The venue was ideal with tables arranged in an open area (the “commons”) adjacent to the auditorium. It was a family event, with kids of all ages attending. The hands-on activities and displays captivated everyone, as can be seen in the photos.
Max is already planning the next Celebration of Mind event for October 2012.
University of Northern Colorado University
In 2011 we had a very successful event. We had rented a large suite at the University of Northern Colorado University Center for 3 hours in Friday night. I estimate that the number of attendees was between 65 and 70, with 57 registered, there were about 10 kids. We had 10 table stations with various activities such as:
- Hexafleaxagons and Dragon models
- Gardner's mathematical puzzles
- logic puzzles (of the "Princess and the Tiger" type)
- Soma cubes puzzles
- the game of Sprout
- the game of Set
- Pentamino and tangram puzzles
- the Penrose tiles and patterns
- the Bagel slicing station and Möbius bands
We also had a number of special guests:
- a puzzle maker Doug Engel (puzzleatomic.com) who brought many wonderful hand-made puzzles.
- Alex Kasman, a Professor of Mathematics at the College of Charleston, was visiting Colorado that week and he gave a nice short talk about Martin Gardner and Mathematical Fictions.
- we had a great magic show by "Worley the Wizard" that was built around many of Martin Gardner's tricks.
The seventy-odd people who showed up at the Stanford edition of the Celebration of Mind 2011 got a great show.
Stan Isaacs was our gracious host who got the evening underway by introducing Hugh Macdonald, who, as Hughdini, presented a fun and entertaining magic show.
Mark Burstein then gave a talk titled "Martin and Lewis: Mr. Gardner and Mr. Carroll". John Edmark presented some novel and amazing kinetic mobile structures based on spirals and the golden ratio. Next we got on our feet and cooperatively built polyhedra out of string (and other things), following instructions from Karl Schaffer, founding member of the "Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stem Dance Ensemble." Inspired, the audience created other structures, such as this complete graph on seven vertices, requiring four people.
Elwyn Berlekamp then showed us a little bit about dots and boxes. He showed a few tricks and then drew the majority of the crowd out to the patio to play nine simultaneous games, winning them all handily. The final presentation of the evening was by Chamberlain Fong on an improved method for calculating the day of the week.
written by Tom Rokicki
DORIS CHALLENGE IN NOVI SAD, SERBIA
In 2011, G4G Celebration of Mind II has been successfully realized in the Parliament of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Republic of Serbia. The best students from Gymnasium „Isidora Sekulic“ Novi Sad, Gymnasium “Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj” Novi Sad and High school for Design “Bogdan Suput” Novi Sad were solving the Best puzzle of the Year 2009 DORIS, which was introduced at G4G8 in Atlanta 2008.
G4G CoM New York City, NY
George Hart's Amazing Acrobats Puzzle, assembled as part of the New York gathering
Over 30 fans of Martin Gardner met in New York City to celebrate his life. Dorothy Weaver, a niece of Martin Gardner, attended as did participants from as far away as Israel. A highlight of the evening was assembling a sculpture by George Hart.
The second annual Boston Area Martin Gardner Celebration of Mind (www.g4g-com.org) was held in Brookline, Massachusetts at the Brookline Senior Center on Friday, October 21, 2011 from 6:30 to 9 PM. We had an excellent turnout!
Here is some information about our presenters:
MIT's Erik Demaine discussed new algorithms for Solving Rubik's Cube that he and Martin Demaine have been working on (http://erikdemaine.org/papers/Rubik_ESA2011/). A recent discovery in the world of the Rubik's cube is the proof of the minimum number of moves needed to solve any configuration of a 3x3x3 Rubik's cube. Erik and Martin are working on a generalized proof for 4x4x4 and larger Rubik's cubes, and presented their results to us. It was a fascinating talk. Some of the math was quite challenging!
We were delighted to host a G4G event to spread the excitement of puzzles, teasers, magic and the joy of thinking. In Cape Town we ran two separate events. I will describe each event and give you some background information on the hosts.
The first event was run at AIMS ( <http://www.aims.ac.za> www.aims.ac.za) by Dirk Laurie. He is currently teaching a three-week course on Experimental Mathematics to the students enrolled for the Postgraduate Diploma at AIMS. He was a professor of mathematics at Stellenbosch University (in South Africa) until 2007, and is currently an Extraordinary Researcher there. For thirty years, he was on the committee that sets the final paper of the South African Mathematical Olympiad.
The G4G event involved a one-hour lecture starting at 11:00am on the 21st of October2011, not so much an actual recap of what Martin Gardner did, but the sort of stuff he liked to write about.
The second event took place at 1:30pm at a local primary school. After doing some homework about Martin, I noticed that he loved working with young people and his first stints in Journalism involved a magazine that targeted the youth. With this in mind I chose to take over a small primary school of about 300 students and entertain them for an hour.
By coincidence, the evening of October 21 was when the Beijing Cubists hold their weekly Friday gathering at the Jishuitan branch of KFC in northwest Beijing. So organizers Wei Zhang and Yao Yuzhi followed Martin's example and took math and puzzles to the people.
Close to 100 people attended, including cubists, puzzlers, yoyoists and magicians. There were talks about MG’s life and work, magic performances, blindfold and two-person cube demos, yoyo, bilboquet, chattering ring and soap bubble demos—and many attendees brought puzzles to share.
G4G veterans Fu Qifeng, Xu Zhuang, Yu Junxiong, Wei Zhang, Peter Rasmussen and G4G9 star magician Wang Lu were all present. The gathering consumed ¥1600 of fried chicken, french fries and drinks, paid for by the Beijing Toy Association. Attendees were of all ages, and everyone had a wonderful time. Plans are already underway for next year’s event.
The Gathering for Gardner's Celebration of Mind 2, 2011 was held last night (Oct. 18 – early due to a national holiday) at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. This year, the Celebration conveniently coincided with the Institutes annual Science Festival. During the day, Yossi Elran presented Martin Gardner's matchbox learning machine – a device that Martin Gardner wrote about in "the unexpected hanging" and redesigned with coffee cups and candies. Hundreds of visitors from all over the country visited the special tent erected for the occasion with over 50 participating in a special evening session devoted remembering Martin Gardner. During the evening, the participants learned about Martin Gardner and his exceptional contribution to philosophy, recreational math, puzzles and magic. Some original mechanical puzzles were presented by local puzzle designers, as well as many puzzles and riddles.
G4G Celebration of Mind Serbia
Boston Celebration of Mind
The Boston-area Celebration of Mind event, on October 21, 2010, attractedover 50 attendees from around the New England region. It was co-hosted byChris Morgan and David Leschinsky, of Eureka! Puzzles. Many people broughtshow-and-tell items, including puzzles, books, and optical illusions. It wasa wonderful, convivial group, and everyone had a great time.
MITprofessor Eric Demaine gave an entertaining (and kinetic) talk about slidingblock puzzles and picture-hanging puzzles, and discussed his interest inexploring still-unanswered or open-ended questions raised by Martin Gardnerin his writings.
Erik noted that sliding-block puzzles are incredibly complex. He has creatednovel "machines" comprised of sliding blocks, that can mimic such things aslogic gates. His paper, "Any Monotone Boolean Function Can Be Realized by InterlockedPolygons” goes into more detail.
Davidson Institute of Science Education, Rechovot, Israel
We had a wonderful evening in Rechovot, Israel.
The gathering was held at the Davidson Institute of Science Education's open air museum - The Clore Garden of Science on the premises of the Weizmann Institute of Science and was very successful with over 100 participants.
The event began with a "fair" where different puzzlists, mathematicians and magicians showed, played and practiced their feats, followed by a short talk about Martin Gardner and his connections in Israel. We then held a "puzzle in 2 minutes" competition. People from the audience offered prizes to those who could solve their puzzles within the allotted time. Finally, the evening concluded with a screening of the Hebrew edition of the movie Flatland (subtitled by the Davidson staff).Feedback was excellent. We also promo-ed a follow up event to be held on May 19th at the same location: a mini national recreational math, puzzles and games conference!
Dr. Yossi (Joseph) Elran, Director The Technology in Education Unit, The Davidson Institute of Science Education at the Weizman Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
University of Graz, Austria
On Thursday, 21 October met in Graz about 40 mathematicians, teachers, students and pupils at a social gathering in the sign of recreational mathematics. The meeting was part of a global event. At the same time found in all continents namely 66 similar events under the title "Gathering for Gardner - Celebration of Mind" instead.
The occasion was the world commemorate the great science journalist Martin Gardner , on the 21st October would have celebrated his 96 birthday. He has left the world numerous contributions to recreational mathematics. Much of it could be used correctly, generate enthusiasm among young people for playful and mathematical thinking. Puzzles and brain teasers can enrich the mathematics lessons, or just fun.
From the collection of the Regional Centre for Didactics of mathematics and geometry, and from the possession of a few teachers came the rich collection of riddles and puzzles, which were exhibited in the premises of the Institute of Mathematics and Scientific Computing, University of Graz, and invited them to play. We thank Robert Geretschläger, Ulrike Fiedler, Katrin Kanatschnig, Kristina and Peter Kiendler scoop for their contributions.
Mathematics Faculty in Madrid, Spain, 2010
In Madrid more than 100 people enjoyed the Celebration. The Vice-dean of the Mathematics Faculty opened "the party". Also we had a small exhibition of Martin Gardner books. The event began with a talk about Martin Gardner byJesús García Gual, who showed us the magic of flexagons. Following that Vicente Muñoz explained the maths and physics under soap bubbles, relating this topic to important (and difficult!) problems in maths. Next there was a time for magic: Fernando Blasco performed tricks he learnt from MG books, Nelo Maestre gave us great magic and, in the end, we watch a video where MG was performing a mathematical trick. Later it was time for music and its relation to maths, as Francisco Gómez stated. After that we built balloon polyhedra, with fun and happyness.
University of Girona, Catalonia, Spain
30 people (fans of Martin Gardner) have gathered this evening for two hours at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Girona.
Joan Miró has provided an overview of Martin Gardner's books, while reading some quotes and ideas found in his critical essays on bad science. Miquel Duran has then anchored the gathering and carried out some games found in Martin Gardner's books. Local mathemagicians and recreational scientists have also taken a look at material taken to Girona from the 2010 spring G4G9 meeting in Atlanta. Attendants have been chemistry and engineering students, high school teachers and university professor-researchers.
University of Girona, Catalonia, Spain Moebius band, graphene, fullerene, g4g_com banner, t-puzzle, Martin Gardner's "the why's of a philosophical scrivener", ...
AGENDA (with spontaneous mini-presentations mixed into the following)
- 1:00 Welcome/Introductions/Getting Acquainted
1:15 The Mathematics, Magic and Mystery of Martin Gardner
2:00 The Way of Puzzles
3:00 Snack break and Creative Crafthouse wooden puzzles to try
3:30 Down the rabbit hole... Readings from Martin Gardner's The Annotated Alice
4:00 Spontaneous and friendly magic (a couple magicians doing close up magic)
4:30 Lexomino puzzles, daringly different dice, and more
5:30 Skeptics and skepticism in the USA
6:00 Goodbyes, keeping the Celebration of Mind alive, G4G events
2011 G4G MG Celebration of Mind in Argentina
The Gathering for Gardner's Celebration of Mind 2 was held in Hernandez Bookstore, in downtown Buenos Aires Friday night (from 7 to 10:30 pm)
There were 11 different talks and more than 80 people participated.
We also remembered Jaime Poniachik's puzzles.
The talks had great variety. There were about Jaime Poniachik riddles, Self references, Physics and publicity, A new game/puzzle called Stratosphere, Rebuses with movement, Logical paradox about what happens if October 21st of 2011 were Saturday?, Defining different words using only words that uses only vowel A, and much more.
G4G at Stanford University, CA, 2010
Many well-known speakers presented at Stanford’s G4G – Celebration of Mind including Donald Knuth (pictured here), Scott Kim, and Stan Isaacs.
Pavillion of Knowledge, Lisbon, Portugal
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
*The Celebration of Mind in Calgary, Canada was attended by Richard Guy, Adrian Tang, David Scollnik, Bill Sands and Peter Zvengrowski - all from the mathematics department at the University of Calgary. Also in attendance was Peter Guy, the professional magician Steve Forrester, grade 5 teacher Evan Cappon, two grade 11 students Thomas Harbeck and Matt Slavin, my wife,Renata Zanardo, and me, Gordon Hamilton**.****The wine flowed, the magic perplexed, and the mind celebrated.****Earlier in the day Richard Guy gave a talk. One interesting sequence he discussed was from John Conway. It began like this 0,1,1,2,3,5... you get the idea... or you think you do, but whenever the result of the sum of the last two members is a composite number - divide it by the smallest prime factor. So the sequence goes like this:****0,1,1,2,3,5,4,3,7,5,6,11,17...****Does it go to infinity?**Does it go to infinity for any starting pair?**Are there an infinite or a finite number of terminal loops? Richard thinks infinite. John thinks finite. ****Another problem that came up in the party is whether "Integral Fission"(see the grade 7 problem here <http://www.mathpickle.com/K-12/Videos.html>)can produce a shape that has a vertical axis of symmetry, but not a horizontal axis of symmetry. The answer is yes (try n=360), but what about for n = a cube?****Gord!*
G4G Celebration of Mind Oxfordshire, UK
The Oxfordshire (UK) Celebration of Mind Event was held in Moulsford, South Oxfordshire, on the evening of the 21st of October 2010. The event was an informal house party, organised in collaboration with Adrian Fisher who hosted a second event at his own home in North Dorset two days later. A total of fourteen guests attended the Oxfordshire event, traveling from across the UK. There were several well known G4G regulars in attendance, but we were also delighted to welcome some G4G novices for the first time - Brett Gilbert, Nick Chung and Jonathan Welton.
From 7-8pm everyone collected in the dining room for a series of short presentations. Speakers in order were as follows:
- Tim Rowett - Started by sharing with us some of his memories of Martin Gardner from G4G1 & G4G2. Tim then went on to introduce his latest collection of whimsical toys and gadgets, a large number of which he left behind as gifts for the attendees.
- Laurie Brokenshire - Then took the chair to introduce his twistagon. A clever hexaflexagon inspired paper puzzle, uniquely tailored for the G4G CoM event, where the goal is to form various names (Martin, Laurie, Andrea, Adrian) by folding the paper strip into a hexagon. Laurie kindly gifted a signed copy of the twistagon to each attendee.
- Harold Cataquet - Then stepped up to introduce us to his KnottyKnights theory explaining how he had discovered that all knight's-tours map down to a single unknot (see also KnottyKnights - The Movie). Harold went on to demonstrate an early magical ball-vase that he had first shared with Martin Gardner in 1971.
- David Singmaster - Began his talk by sharing some of his own early memories of Martin Gardner, going as far back as 1964, in particular recalling how he introduced Martin to the Rubik Cube back in December 1979. David then went on to demonstrate a 2D-model of a 4D-cube that had been a gift from Martin.
- Adam Atkinson - Gave a lively and interactive talk entitled Four Semi-Chestnuts. Describing four little known mathematical bafflers that were not as well known as they ought to be. For example - can you find three numbers, in arithmetic sequence, the product of which is prime?
- Jonathan Welton - Started by introducing his favorite John Beasley book on peg-solitaire and went on to discuss the merits of the standard order-4 grid. Jonathan finalised by demonstrating a completely new order-4 solitaire board of his own devising.
- Nick Chung - provided a grand finale by entertained us with a short selection of magic tricks inspired by some of Martin Gardner's own works, including The Clever Innkeeper, Card Warp and the Improved Hunter Knot.
The G4G-CoM in Tokyo was successfully held at a Cafe in Tokyo for four hours from 5.00 pm until 9.00pm. Each of all 26 attendees made at least 5 minutes of a talk or a demonstration.
The Columbia, South Carolina, instantiation of Martin Gardner Celebration of Mind was held in Center Court of Dutch Square Mall. About 30 people participated.
- Chess master Charles Walter gave a simultaneous chess exhibition, opening all games with 1.h4. This postmodern hypermodern move, endorsed by Martin Gardner’s April Fools’ column of April, 1975, held up well.
- Danny Purvis, founder of the World Game of Sprouts Association (WGOSA), spoke on the evolution of sprouts theory.
- University of South Carolina mathematics professor Joshua Cooper gave a lecture on the mathematics of Sudoku.
- University of South Carolina physics professor Ron Edge recounted his friendship with Martin Gardner.
- Magician Mike Kimble performed close-up magic
- Ron Edge exhibited a box load of artifacts from past Gatherings for Gardner
- Kwame Dawes, English professor and poet-in-residence at the University of South Carolina, had put out the word that such a poem was needed, and poet Arden Mir Grant had responded admirably. A dramatic reading of her poem Aleph-Null was given by Professor Sara Nalley of Columbia College. The text of the poem, annotated by the poet to facilitate Dr. Nalley’s interpretation, is given here.
- Games enthusiast and merchant Mary Havron demonstrated a selection of intellectual games.
- A giant hexahexaflexagon was present during the evening but lay safely dormant throughout.
Paris G4G celebration chez Céleste. Seven speakers on all subjects from flexagons to dissections. The evening ended with a Gardner inspired magician, Abdul Alafrez.
We had a meeting on 30th october 2010 under the auspices of Marathwadamedical society. The meeting was held in mathematics department at 530 pm and attended by several maths teachers and maths enthusiasts. Presentation was made by Dr. Vivek Gharpure and Mr. Milind Ranade made few remarks. I have received invitations from two local colleges for giving a presentation for their students. An article has been requested by the mathematical society for their bulletin.
G4G CoM in Taiwan
Theme: High School puzzles and games
Dave Goldsman gave a short talk at 3:30P introducing a number of puzzles / problems
that he collected, and then watched some videos and work some puzzle
activities that he collected from various sources.
The CoM will be in conjunction with a Georgia Tech CEISMC / Atlanta Public
Schools workshop that's taking place on Saturday.