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Crafty maths – Maths Craft Day returns to Christchurch

Into origami, crochet or knitting? Then you probably enjoy maths too – you just may not realise it. Discover the maths behind craft and the craft behind maths at Christchurch Maths Craft Day 2018.

Created by University of Canterbury (UC) School of Mathematics & Statistics academics, Maths Craft aims to bring the joy of maths to the masses by celebrating the links between mathematics and craft.

You can learn how to French-knit a mathematical knot or flex a hexahexaflexagon. Figure out how to fold an origami octahedron or crochet a Möbius strip.

Back by popular demand, this family-friendly, fun and educational, interactive festival returns to the Arts Centre on Sunday, 1 July, in partnership with UC Arts and the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities, after the inaugural 2017 event.

Armed with knowledge, knitting needles and origami paper, a team of UC academics and students led by UC senior lecturers Dr Jeanette McLeod and Dr Phil Wilson are enthusiastic about sharing the fun and beauty of maths.

“Maths is often overlooked as a subject of beauty, creativity and imagination, with many people seeing it as boring, irrelevant or downright unpleasant,” Dr McLeod says.

Co-founder and Director of Maths Craft New Zealand, Dr McLeod has a PhD in pure mathematics from the Australian National University, and is a Principal Investigator in Te Pūnaha Matatini. Dr McLeod researches pure and applied graph theory and also knits, crochets, and sews. Her office at UC is full of maths books and craft supplies.

“We’re keen to show people how maths underpins almost every aspect of today’s society. Whether it’s used in crafts, technology, business, science, social science or education, maths is vital,” she says.

Dr Phil Wilson is Deputy Director of Maths Craft New Zealand and researches fluid dynamics, mathematical modelling, and the philosophy of mathematics.

“By using craft as a medium, from clothing to ancient Greek art, we aim to introduce adults and children alike to a new and fun way of engaging with mathematics,” he says.

“It’s amazing seeing people realise that maths is everywhere.”

Aimed at adults as well as budding mathematicians and younger crafters, the Christchurch Maths Craft Day will be held in the Great Hall and the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities in UC Arts city location at the Arts Centre on Sunday, 1 July.

Maths Craft Day includes free public talks exploring the relationships between mathematics and craft (click here for more about the talks):

• 11am – Knuts about Knitting Knots, Ms Elizabeth Chesney, University of Canterbury

• 1pm – Making links and breaking codes: the mathematics of Bill Tutte, Professor Graham Farr, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

• 3pm – Teece Museum: The Measure of All Things: Myths, Maths, and Other Aspects of Greek Art, Dr Patrick O'Sullivan, University of Canterbury

Discover the maths behind craft and the craft behind maths at the Christchurch Maths Craft Day on Sunday July 1, 2018 in The Great Hall at The Arts Centre.

Christchurch Maths Craft Day, Sunday, 1 July, 2018, free entry, 10am – 5pm at the Arts Centre, Christchurch. For more on Maths Craft, see Also on Facebook, Ravelry, and Twitter #mathscraftnz


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