Watch: Fold and knit your way through maths

VIDEO: Ashleigh Monk and Simon Cooper

A group of mathematicians are bringing maths to the masses in a creative way.

Dr Phil Wilson and Dr Jeanette McLeod, along with University of Canterbury postgraduate student Sarah Mark and Dr Nicolette Rattenbury (University of Auckland) have been granted $120,000 from Unlocking Curious Minds to take their ‘Maths Craft’ initiative on the road.

Maths Craft uses knitting, origami and other creative activities to demonstrate different maths formulas, and Dr Wilson says being able to touch the creations makes it easier to understand methods and equations.

The project was kick started after a successful Maths Craft Festival last year.

“There was definitely this perception that we got from that feedback that people realised maybe for the first time, that maths is all around them, that they’re actually doing it already,” he said.

“People found that maths could be creative and playful, and this isn’t something that you get in school.”

He said this would allow people to learn how to knit a mathematical knot, crochet a Möbius strip, fold an origami tetrahedron, or colour a Latin square, and experience mathematics in a whole new way.

This year, in addition to the Maths Craft Festival in Auckland scheduled for the weekend of 9-10 September, there would be events in Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington.

Through these events, the UC academics would show people how maths underpinned almost every aspect of today’s society.