Mathematics in the streets of Kraków
The rpa-committee is one of the permanent committees of the EMS. Here "rpa" stands for "raising public awareness of mathematics." The main activity during the last years was the realization of a popular mathematical webpage under the auspices of the EMS: http://www.mathematics-in-europe.eu
Here in Kraków, at the occasion of the European Congress of Mathematics, our committee will present something new: Mathematics in the streets of Kraków. The idea was born in the United Kingdom, there it is called "Streets maths" or "Maths busking". Two of the members of the rpa committee (Sara Santos and Steve Humble) are active in this kind of mathematical popularization since many years. More details can be found on the web page http://mathsbusking.com.
The aim is the following: "Maths Busking aims to show the public the surprising and fascinating side of mathematics through the medium of street performance." "We are great believers in taking maths onto the streets to confront peoples fears and anxieties… Busking is a performance art-form that has to capture and contain its audience from otherwise indifferent members of the public who happen to walk past. As such buskers have developed a huge range of techniques and approaches to draw-in and engage a crowd. The primary focus of Maths Busking is to develop engaging and non-threatening mathematics routines that will capture the audience because they are innately entertaining and the mathematical content does not alienate people."
Street performance at the Leeds Festival of Science
There will be three teams of our committee (supported by students of the Jagiellonian University who will help in translation) in Kraków, they will be active on Monday and Tuesday between 4 an 8 pm. One finds them on Rynek (the Kraków Market Place), about 10 minutes walk from the site of the Congress and in Planty Park in front of Collegium Novum, the main Jagiellonian University building, about 5 minutes walk from the site of the Congress.
All participants of the Congress are invited to visit us when we try to convince citizens of Krakow and tourists that mathematics is a fascinating science.