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International Day of Mathematics

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International Day of Mathematics is celebrated annually on 14 March to honor and celebrate mathematics.

The International Day of Mathematics is a project of the International Mathematical Union and was proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference in 2019.

The chosen date coincides with Pi Day, which in turn derives from the first three digits of the number Pi matching the way a date is read in the Anglo-Saxon system.

Throughout the day, various activities promoting the dissemination of mathematics are held, like Mathematics in the street.

History[edit | edit source]

During the General Assembly of the International Mathematical Union at the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians, it was approved that 14 March would be designated as the International Day of Mathematics, with an initiative for joint resolution with UNESCO.

The initiative was taken by Christiane Rousseau.

On 26 November, 2019, the UNESCO General Conference in Resolution 40/302 declared 14 March as the International Day of Mathematics. It included a statement that:

'Greater global awareness and strengthening the teaching of mathematical sciences are essential to address challenges in areas such as artificial intelligence, climate change, energy, sustainable development, and to enhance the quality of life in both developed and developing worlds.'

Following the approval, the IMAGINARY team won the bid to host the International Day of Mathematics website, idm314.org. In 2020, Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, stated in a message for the 2020 International Day of Mathematics:

'Some countries have recently declared that mathematics are in a "crisis", rejected by students who find the subject boring. This Day is about remembering the purpose of mathematics and, in particular, how they can serve as the foundation for innovation towards sustainable development. We must recognize that mathematics, even in its most theoretical aspects, truly concern us all.'

For 2020, the chosen theme was 'Mathematics is Everywhere,' aiming to showcase the importance of mathematics in our daily lives.

For 2021, the theme was 'Mathematics for a Better World,' emphasizing the recognized significance of mathematics in improving quality of life, with a nod to its indispensable role in monitoring and understanding the COVID-19 pandemic.

For 2022, the theme was 'Mathematics Unites Us.' The theme for 2022 was proposed by Yuliya Nesterova, a graduate student from the University of Ottawa in Canada. She explained:

'Mathematics unites, to highlight that it is a common language we all share and a common subject to engage with.'

For 2023, the theme was 'Mathematics for Everyone.' The theme was proposed by Marco Zarco Rotairo from the "Trece mártires" National Institute in Indang, Cavite, Philippines, with the following argument:

'I believe that mathematics should be for everyone because we all have mathematical ability, albeit to different extents. Furthermore, we should allow everyone to enjoy the wonders of Mathematics. The notion that Mathematics is only for the gifted and geniuses must change.'

The 2023 International Day of Mathematics virtual event featured participation from the four winners of the 2022 Fields Medal.

References[edit | edit source]