Texas A&M University is marking the month of April in style, joining other institutions and corporations across the country in the nationwide annual observance of Math Awareness Month (MAM) with a series of events throughout April to increase public understanding of and appreciation for mathematics.

The highlight of the month-long festivities in celebration of the 2016 MAM theme, "The Future of Prediction," is the 13th annual Math Fair, set for Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the John R. Blocker Building.

Free and open to all ages, the fair will feature mentored problem-solving, games, mathematical art and a keynote presentation by Texas A&M mathematician Frank Sottile on The Shape of Space. The event will conclude with a pizza lunch at noon, followed by a raffle and closing remarks from 12:30 to 1 p.m. in Room 102 Blocker.

Texas A&M mathematician and longtime event co-organizer Philip Yasskin notes that the collaborative, hands-on activities are designed to promote mathematics mastery and excitement, as well as showcase the subject's daily significance -- with a twist that's unique to 2016.

"At the suggestion of the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival Organization, we are changing things up a bit this year as an experiment," Yasskin said. "When students solve a problem, complete an art project or just make a significant step in a solution, they will get a raffle ticket. The more tickets they accumulate, the better their chance of receiving a prize. The idea is that students are solving problems because they want to think about the problem and at the same time improve their odds."

Free parking is available in Lots 50 and 51 on the northeast side of the Texas A&M campus, while paid visitor parking also can be found in the Northside Garage adjacent to the Blocker Building.

Emil J. Straube, professor and head of the Texas A&M Department of Mathematics, notes mathematics and its many applications play a fundamental role in nearly every aspect of society, from purely scientific enterprises to the financial, business, healthcare and entertainment sectors. With fundamental sciences such as mathematics and statistics consistently accounting for the top five jobs across multiple surveys, Straube says there's no better time than the present to consider a potential career in either broad-based field.

"The theme for this year's Math Awareness Month is The Future of Prediction," Straube said. "Much of today's science relies on simulation via mathematical models to predict outcomes. In addition, the amount of data collected has exploded, and the resulting massive data sets can only be analyzed via mathematical and statistical methods. Examples include weather forecasting, climate change, option pricing, actuarial sciences, oil and gas recovery, genomics, the spread of diseases, non-destructive materials testing, image analysis, data mining and many more. In short, mathematics is all around us, and Mathematics Awareness Month aims to shine a light on these connections."

Sponsored by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM), MAM began in 1986 when then-United States President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation establishing National Mathematics Awareness Week. Activities for MAM generally are organized on local, state and regional levels by college and university departments, institutional public information offices, student groups, and related associations and interest groups.

The JPBM is a collaborative effort of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the American Statistical Association (ASA), the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

For registration information and other details about the Texas A&M Math Fair and Math Awareness Month, visit http://www.math.tamu.edu/outreach/mam/.

To learn more about Texas A&M Mathematics, visit http://www.math.tamu.edu/.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Philip Yasskin, (979) 845-7554 or yasskin@math.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

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