Abstract: The theme of Mathematics Awareness Month 2014, which launched on 1 Apr, is
"Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery", which is closely patterned after the title of
a classic 1956 Dover paperback by the legendary Martin Gardner (1914--2010).
Martin was without a doubt the best friend mathematics ever had, and it's fitting
that in his centennial year we seize the opportunity to leverage his extensive
written legacy---over 100 books---to turn new generations on the magic and mystery
of mathematics, and the joys of problem solving and rational thinking. The goal
is to inspire many "Aha!" moments, and add to Gardner's record of turning innocent
youngsters into mathematics professors (and mathematics professors into innocent
Mathematics Awareness Month will provide people with multimedia opportunities to
explore the kinds of topics Martin made famous via his famous "Mathematical Games"
columns for Scientific American, and associated books. These range from
hexaflexagons, magic squares, geometric vanishes, mobius bands, and mathemagic,
to juggling, Penrose tiles and the connection between card shuffling and fractals.
We'll give an overview of the Mathematics Awareness Month activities, while
surveying Martin Gardner's achievements, and highlighting the potential for major
outreach into the nation's youth.
Twitter users may enjoy following @MathAware (Mathematics Awareness Month),
@WWMGT (What Would Martin Gardner Tweet?) and @MGardner100th (Martin Gardner
Bio: Colm Mulcahy is a professor of mathematics at Spelman College, in Atlanta, where
he has taught since 1988. He's currently visiting The American University in
Washington, DC. Over the last decade, he has been at the forefront of publishing
new mathemagical principles and effects for cards, particularly in his
long-running bi-monthly Card Colm for the MAA. Some of his card effects have
been featured in the New York Times Numberplay blog. His book Mathematical Card
Magic: Fifty-Two New Effects was published by AK Peters/CRC Press in 2013.
Colm gave the MAA Lecture for Students at Mathfest 2009 in Portland, Oregon, and
is a recipient of MAA's Allendoerfer Award for excellence in expository writing,
for an article on image compression using wavelets.
He's part of the team heading up Mathematics Awareness Month 2014, which is
inspired by the legacy of Martin Gardner, whom he was fortunate to know for the
last decade of his life. He also chairs the Martin Gardner Centennial Committee.
His interests are broad, ranging from algebra and number theory to geometry. He
earned a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in mathematical science from University College Dublin
in his native Ireland, and a PhD from Cornell University for research in the
algebraic theory of quadratic forms, under Alex F.T.W. Rosenberg.
He tweets at @CardColm and highly recommends that Gardner fans follow @WWMGT and
New websites: http://www.mathaware.org