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U of I to host MoSAIC Math + Art Festival

From the press release:

University of Illinois to Host MoSAIC Math + Art Festival

Urbana, IL – University of Illinois will be hosting a festival celebrating the connections between mathematics and the arts on Friday-Saturday, November 21-22, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The festival will be held in Altgeld Hall and the Illini Union on the University campus and is free and open to the public.

The MoSAIC Festival includes a variety of hands-on workshops, lectures, a mathematical art exhibit, short films, and an area for informal exchange. It is designed to be easily accessible by audiences high school age and up. See

Some of the featured presenters at the festival include:

  • Bob Bosch, Oberlin College, an award winning mathematician and artist, whose artworks appeared in the MAA and AMS magazines
  • Judy Holdener, Kenyon College, a University of Illinois alumna who will lead a workshop on Balloon-twisting 
  • Eve Torrance, Randolph-Macon College, who will lead a workshop on orgami
  • Reza Saharangi, Towson University, who will present on The Art & Design of the Decagram 
  • Anton Lukyanenko, Universit of Michigan, a University of Illinois alumnus who will lead a workshop on “Heisen-blocks.”
  • Jessica Li, an Illinois Geometry Lab-mentored high school student, who will present a workshop on the mathematics of snowflakes, a project which has lead her to the semifinals of the prestigious Siemens talent search.
  • Natalya Zielnicki, Harvard University, a former Countryside Middle School teacher who will lead sessions on mathematics and art in teaching.

MoSAIC stands for Mathematics of Science, Art, Industry, Culture. The purpose of the MoSAIC project, which holds festivals at several universities each year across the United States, is to promote awareness and interest in mathematics through its connection to the arts. MoSAIC is a joint venture between The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and The Bridges Organization.

“Mathematicians see math as art, and many artists love math. At a MoSAIC Festival these usually separate worlds can unite! The sparks generated will be inspiring,” says David Eisenbud, Director of MSRI. “A student who is engaged in mathematics through the arts may be hooked and go on and explore further on their own,” adds George Hart, Bridges board member and MoSAIC Director.

MoSAIC fits in beautifully with the University of Illinois’s historic strengths in interdisciplinary work between STEM and the arts, and in particular with the public engagement work of the mathematics department via the Illinois Geometry Lab.

MSRI’s MoSAIC Festival of Math & Art program has been made possible through generous support by the Simons Foundation (

From its location in Berkeley, CA, MSRI ( hosts visitors from all over the world to pursue advanced mathematical research, and is committed to furthering mathematics education from elementary school to the postgraduate, as well as furthering the public understanding and appreciation of the beauty and excitement of mathematics.  The Bridges Organization ( oversees the Bridges conference, an annual 5-day conference on connections between mathematics and the arts.

For more information on the MoSAIC project visit


Jayadev Athreya, Assistant Professor and Director, Illinois Geometry Lab

Department of Mathematics, 1409 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801


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