After going virtual for last year’s event due to the COVID pandemic, Texas A&M University is gearing up once again to host hundreds of students and their families for a special 20th anniversary celebration of its annual Texas A&M Mathematics and Statistics Fair, set for Saturday, February 26, starting at 9 a.m. in the John R. Blocker Building.
For the sixth consecutive year, the longstanding event will feature the inclusion of statistics in keeping with April’s more broadly focused Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, says Texas A&M mathematician and event coordinator Dr. Tamara Carter. Free and open to all ages, Carter says the fair will feature mentored problem-solving, games, mathematical arts and crafts, puzzles, a prize raffle and other activities situated throughout the first floor of the Blocker Building.
Co-hosted since 2017 by the Texas A&M Department of Mathematics and the Texas A&M Department of Statistics, the Math and Stat Fair was founded in 2002 as the Math Mini Fair by husband-wife Texas A&M mathematicians Dr. Peter Kuchment and Dr. Mila Mogilevsky shortly after they both arrived in Aggieland in 2001. During the past two decades, it has emerged as the traditional highlight of an expanded series of spring outreach events designed to increase public understanding of and appreciation for both mathematics and statistics, from the many disciplines to the daily activities each impacts.
“Mathematics and statistics are extremely valuable in many careers and various aspects of everyday life, but they are also fun,” Carter said. “We are very excited to share that fun with guests of all ages as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our first fair held in spring 2002.”
In keeping with the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival Organization format adopted each year since the 2016 fair, Carter says all participants will receive a raffle ticket when they solve a problem, complete an art project or just make a significant step in a solution. The more tickets they accumulate, the better their chance of receiving a prize, with the overall goal being that they are simultaneously thinking about the problem and hoping to improve their odds.
In commemoration of the event’s 20th anniversary, Kuchment will deliver this year’s public lecture, set for 11 a.m., followed by a prize raffle and remarks at noon. The day’s activities will conclude with advanced lectures from 1 to 3 p.m.
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 and the Polo Rd. Garage adjacent to Lots 50 and 51.
Sponsored by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM), Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month began in 1986 when then-United States President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation establishing National Mathematics Awareness Week. Activities 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).
To learn more about Texas A&M Mathematics, visit https://www.math.tamu.edu/.
For more information about Texas A&M Statistics, go to https://www.stat.tamu.edu/.