Beauty is in the eye of the mathematician

November 11, 2016

Beauty is in the eye of the mathematician

The Maths Craft Festival is happening this weekend. Photo: Supplied

A festival dedicated to maths and crafts will be open to Aucklanders this week.

The Maths Craft Festival was created by mathematics lecturers Dr Julia Collins, Dr Jeanette McLeod, and Dr Phillip Wilson.

The event, to be held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum in Parnell, will feature public talks, mathematical colouring, origami, and crochet stations.

“We’re trying to bring mathematics to a new audience and show the beautiful overlap between the world of mathematics and the world of craft,” said Mr Wilson.

As Ms McLeod explained: “Mathematics is inherently creative and that’s what a lot of people don’t realise.

“A lot of people think accountancy and long division and it’s not hugely creative. This is a way of kind of showing that not only is it creative but it can be really beautiful as well.”

Ms Collins said the Maths Craft event happened completely by accident.

She and Ms McLeod were both interested in knitting and crafts, out of which the festival emerged.

“There is a lot more to maths than equations and numbers,” said Ms Collins.

Laura Starling, a crochet tutor at the University of Otago, has been crocheting since she was 14. She has made wall hangings, socks, gloves, and even her wedding bouquet.

“It’s a mathematical kind of craft,”she said.

To illustrate her point, Ms Starling said she had found herself counting a lot – especially when doing something new – and had been dealing with hexagons lately.

“When you’re crocheting, pretty much everything you want to make has to be symmetrical,” she added.

“Especially if you’re making circles. You have to have the exact amount of stitches to make it work and you need to be subtracting and adding evenly to make it go the desired shape.”

Ms Starling said the festival “sounds really cool”.

“I’m really excited for people to get involved in anything crafty, especially crochet.”

The all-ages Maths Craft festival will be held on September 3 and 4 at the Auckland War Memorial Museum from 10am.

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