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Mathematics for a better world

Schools and organizations worldwide are celebrating the contributions of mathematics to the global public good this International Day of Mathematics.

The 14th of March has been proclaimed by UNESCO as the International Day of Mathematics (IDM), and in 2021 the day will be marked with virtual and in-person events worldwide under the theme “Mathematics for a Better World”.

The international day, which was first proclaimed in 2020, aims to celebrate the timeless beauty and relevance of mathematics, and to highlight the essential role of mathematics in meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The day is organized by ISC Member the International Mathematical Union, whose Secretary General Helge Holden said:

The International Day of Mathematics (IDM) on March 14, “pi day”, is a celebration of how mathematics is intertwined into every aspect of our lives. From when we look to what the weather might be for today, to fun things like when we listen to digital music or build roller coasters, to serious challenges such as analysing the global pandemic or how artificial intelligence will impact our lives. 

The International Mathematical Union is striving for mathematics for a better world, and today we want to celebrate the importance of this fundamental science“.

Helge Holden
Secretary General of the International Mathematical Union

In 2021, the IDM includes a mixture of virtual and face-to-face celebrations in more than 70 countries. For the first time in 2021, IDM will also include a Poster Challenge, for which schools and organizations have drawn their own IDM poster to illustrate one aspect of the theme ‘Mathematics for a Better World’.

Browse the full gallery online.

An international live celebration in three languages (English, French and Spanish) will take place on 14 March, 14:00 to 18:00 UTC. All talks will be streamed through the IDM website, completely free and without pre-registration. Check out the programme of each session:

In addition, 48 hours of live coverage on the IDM website will start at 00:00 New Zealand.

The date of 14 March is already known as Pi Day and celebrated in many countries around the world. It is named after the important number π, the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle and approximately equal to 3.14. The IDM celebration expands Pi Day to include the whole spectrum of mathematics.

The theme for IMD 2021 was chosen in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mathematics and statistics are essential tools for decision-makers in predicting the evolution of the disease and optimizing mitigation strategies with limited resources.

The IDM website is the main hub for the International Day of Mathematics.

Find out more about the International Mathematical Union.

Header photo: A school in Taichung celebrates the International Day of Mathematics.

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