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April is Mathematics Awareness Month

April is Mathematics Awareness Month

The theme for this year's Mathematics Awareness Month is Mathematics and the Cosmos. As the main statement of the theme says, “mathematics is at the core of our attempts to understand the cosmos at every level: Riemannian geometry and topology furnish models of the universe, numerical simulations help us to understand large-scale dynamics, celestial mechanics provides a key to comprehending the solar system, and a wide variety of mathematical tools are needed for actual exploration of the space around us.” Many institutions across the nation will organize special events during April with the goal of highlighting the value, usefulness, and beauty of mathematics.

Mathematics Awareness Month happens in April of each year under the auspices of the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM), which is composed of the MAA, the American Mathematical Society, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the American Statistical Association. Math Awareness Week was first celebrated in 1986 with a proclamation by President Reagan; the event was expanded to a full month in 1999. The original week included mostly activities at the national level (at the Smithsonian, for example), but since then the emphasis has shifted to local and regional activities intended to highlight the importance of mathematics. The MAM web site provides a wide range of resources to help individuals and institutions organize activities during the month.

More information on Mathematics Awareness Month, theme essays (on the shape of space, celestial mechanics, and the design of space missions), tips on how to contact the media and get coverage for local events, and many other resources can be found at the new Math Awareness Month website at

News Date: 
Monday, February 14, 2005