geometry around

Wherever we go there is geometry. Almost everything is connected with angles, sides, volume, height, measures. Shapes around. We went out into our streets to look for them. We found them in our houses, in our history, in our art. Even nature provided us with examples. Alicia, Carmen, Clara and Victor took these photos for the Spanish team last task.


The perspective

Students of Liceo "Duni" go on searching Maths in every day life. Some of them have tried to catch examples of perspective with their cameras. All the pictures have been taken by the students during school or family trips!


Good-bye Flashmeeting images

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Elefsinios Pomegranate is a young student who is driving a time machine back to ancient years, trying to have a closer look to the wisdom of ancient mathematicians

- Sicely looks great from that height !And this is Croton, a nice place to live and cogitate about the mysteries of universe. I can see why Pythagoras found his math school here

Ok. This must be the School. But where is HE ?

My “Find - Everything Device” (FED) has just located him !

Oh, he is sitting in a symposium !

I wonder … what kind of nutrition supports such a mind. I will certainly adopt it!

Let’s get a closer look. Who are all these people ? Thank god, sorry, thank all twelve gods, they can’t see, hear or feel me ! ( though, I’ m not sure about Pythagoras. Has he got a sixth sense ?)

Who is that beautiful young woman sitting next to him? Oh, she must be Theano, his loving one. And that dark-skinned man ? FED has recognized him. He is Sourba, a famous babylonian mathematician. And next to him ? This is Manoush, one of his Egyptian teachers! Pythagoras had spent 20 years of his life next to Egyptians sage priests where he aquired much of his great learning. And this is Vrontinos, the one who pays for the symposium, I suppose.

I’ll get closer, so that I can hear their conversation.

Vrontinos: For Zeus shake Pythagoras, why should you know the subject of our conversation in advance ? Did you have to consult your notes ?

Pythagoras: My friend, if our subject was a serious and demanding one, then my stomach should be empty ! Otherwise, it would absorb the energy my brain needs to work. Moreover, it would be inappropriate to talk about specific subjects, hanger for example, over such a banquet !

Vrontinos : Well, my mind refuses to work when my stomach is empty ! But, regardless of our conversation, I’m sure you won’t be able to resist all these goodies I’ve ordered for you ! The finest meat and the freshest fish prepared by my slave chef He has costed me a fortune to buy him!

P : I don’t want to insult you, my dear friend, but I certainly won’t have a bite of your gourmet eating !

V: I’ ll be insulted, unless you can give me a good explanation !

P: I will try to explain. I have purified my body and soul by following a strictly vegetarian diet deprived of toxins. Besides, this way I fight against my primeval instincts and I express my respect to other forms of life. Remember, when you eat an animal is like eating its soul as well ! And I’m glad to say that my followers have reluctantly adopt this nutrition.

V. You mean, you can resist to a juicy piece of meat, even when you are all alone !

P: But I’m never alone. A very important person, a VIP, is always watching .

V: You mean God ?

P: I mean myself !

Theano: You can certainly exclude me from these vegeterians, since I am his love, not his follower.

P: I have recommended Theano to have meat, because of her physical characteristics. I never suggest that this vegetarian diet is for everyone. So, I will allow my portion to her.

Sourba : I can see your point, Pythagoras and I can see a bright and disciplined soul into your thin and well-trained body. But for us, the Babylonians, having food to eat is a bless from gods. So we have to show our respect to them by eating what they give us, vegetables, meat and fish. And you can’t say of course that this nutrition hasn’t support our mind, since we were the ones to have the first steps in mathematical thinking.

P: You certainly are. You taught us how to satisfy our practical needs by practical geometry. Since, I’ ve heard that old Minoans had given their try.

Manoush : And we took it further. We had to find a way to calculate the acreage of our fields after Nile’s flood and the volume of the cereals we produce. So , it’s about food again

V: As you can see Pythagoras it’s all about food. So, going back to that, I think I can offer a special dish. You will certainly won’t refuse a special dish of beans.

P: I’m afraid I’ll disappoint you. Beans are exactly the food Iwouldn’t even touch, I shouldn’t even refer the word! !

V: I ‘ve never heard a strangest idea !

P: You see, my way of thinking is completely different. I strongly believe that dead people ‘s soul actually live in beans. And that’s a thought Manoush could confirm.

V: Can I suggest a dish of onions, then ? Is everything all right with onions ?

P: I think I ‘ll have the best meal ever ! And to show you my gratefulness, I’ ll give you a special gift – this “greedy cup”!

V: I can’t imagine anything “greedy” coming from you, Pythagoras !

P: Get a closer look! If you fill it up to this line it’s a common cup. But if you get greedy and fill pass the line, the penalty is to lose all wine through the hole at the bottom of the cup.

V : I suppose you don’t imply anything! My wife will certainly appreciate your gift !

E. P. :They are really crazy, those ancients ! I’m so confused – and hungry ! And my time machine is getting hungry as I’m running out of time-fuel. Let’s start my journey back to now.

What is that on my FED screen? I’m flying over Syracusae. It must be the 2nd century B.C. Who ‘s that man holding his stomach ? And what is he trying to do? OK, the answer is coming. It’s Archimedes , one of the greatest mathematicians and engineers of all time ! And … he is playing ! He’s trying to assemble a puzzle he had made, called Stomachion ,and the solution is giving him a hard time – and a stomach pain !

I’m still in the same century flying over the famous city of Alexandria. I can see the Great Alexandrian Library. An old man is sitting at his desk and he is … crying. What could give him such a sorrow ? Oh, he is blind. I see what’s going on. It’s Eratosthenes , the librarian , who has decided to stop eating and die since his blindness made him incapable of studying. And what life worths without studying ?

I think I’ve heard of another mathematician who starved to death, much closer to my time. This one refused to eat because of his constant fear that someone would poison his food – and he died of hunger !

I think I’ve reached my time and my home ! Ican see, mum in the kitchen, as usual. She is preparing dinner for my family. I can smell baked beans, fresh salad and a salad fruit for dessert. She never forgets the pyramid of Mediterranean diet . God, I’m starving to death. I hope I won’t eat anyone’s soul as I intent to satisfy my mum and my stomach by honoring her food.

Afterwards, I’ll deal with some unsolved mathematical problems – those exercises my teacher assigned me. Should I ask some ancient help ?

Let’s land

( Inspired by the novel "Pythagoras, the Son of Scilence", by Benigno Morilla )

"A mathematician's diet" Elefsina's farewell song

Pythagoras, the 6th century B.C. Greek mathematician, scholar and so much more, was a vegetarian and thought that beans were kin to men, so they shouldn’t be eaten. More theories on bean abstinence here
Look out for our film on Pythagora's banquet in Food for thought!

Eratosthenes, the 3rd century B.C. Greek mathematician was able to culculate the earth’s circumference with great proximity. Of course he thought it was a sphere, but mankind forgot that for many centuries later. He starved himself to death, when he realized he was going blind.

More Math and diet trivia:

The Tyrian mathematician Porphyry  Malchus, Eratosthenes’ contemporary, was a vegetarian, since he was influenced by Pythagorian theories about animals having a soul.

Kurt Gödel, Eistein’s friend, and one of the most important people of the 20th century, who proved that one cannot attain absolute mathematical truth (incompleteness theorem), starved himself for fear of getting poisoned.

Please remember: Millions of mathematicians were normal eaters!!



Parallel and perpendicular lines

The students from Matera looked around them searching for everyday Maths. Some of them focused on parallel and perpendicular lines visible in nature or in man-made environments and have made a video with pictures taken while walking around town. It is so surprising to see how Maths is everywhere!

Parallel and perpendicular lines from Maria teresa Asprella on Vimeo.


2 students of 2tto Amsterdam in the Team Maths Challenge

Team Mathematics Challenge 2011

Thursday the 9th of June was the day of the big finals of the Team Mathematics Challenge. Four students of het HLW took part, two of the first grade of our Bilingual Education (Aissam and Akram) and two of the second grade (Manal and Lamyae).

The competition was held at the Cals College in Nieuwegein and the best teams from the Netherlands were present. In four different rounds they had to solve all kind of mathematical problems, involving big problems, cross calculation puzzles, head-to-head competition and a relay. Especially the last one was very nice to see: all students running from their place to the teachers and back again to solve as many problems as possible.

At the end of the day, all students received their certificates and prizes were handed out. It turned out that our team was at a well deserved 25th place of all the teams in the Netherlands!

A "Thank you!" to our partners

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Numbers Playground from Valentina Cuadrado on Vimeo.

A nice way to say goodbye to our partners seemed to be showing them how our first contacts with Maths, numbers, was. This is why we decided to go out to the playground again.
Childhood revised from the beginning when learning by imitation was the aim of the first game.
Coordination at jumping, counting and skipping together, a collaborative game where everybody is necessary. The last song was just a popular rhyme to choose a player, our presenter for us.
A combination of fun, maths, experiences and collaboration.
As Marta says, now it's your turn to play! Have a good summer!


The first QL

The first ATOM QL. Congratulations, Amsterdam! Good luck to the other teams!



+ un-Maths unusual recipes

If the previous ones were difficult to cook, please don't try these ones either.

Un-Maths unusual recipe

Un-thinkable ingredients, un-reasonable processes, un-expected temperatures, un-edible results are the characteristics of these un-Maths unusual recipes.


Ancient Egyptian Maths

The first sources about ancient Egyptian mathematics date to what is called the Middle Kingdom. One of the biggest resources we have for mathematical writing is the Rhind Papyrus, named after Alexander Rhind who purchased the papyrus in the 19th century and brought it to England. The papyrus is sometimes called the Ahmes papyrus after the scribe who wrote it.

In the opening paragraphs of the papyrus, Ahmes presents the papyrus as “inquiring into the knowledge of all things, mysteries and...all secrets”. The papyrus lists many problems covering topics in algebra, geometry and other areas in mathematics, including a problem that gives a good approximation of PI.

All the problems are related to practical matters and many of them are about fractions.

Mihnea, our group's Mathematician, will show you one of the problems for the Flashmeeting. And, to finish within the bread theme, it is related to bread!

Rhind Papyrus

in the meantime, a riddle

Students created this movie, then they added the sound. It was great fun and big collaborative effort. We hope you enjoy finding the solution.


June 1st

Today is International Children's Day. We celebrate this day in Romania, how about your countries?
Happy June 1st to all our students, warm affectionate wishes and thanks for being part of our lives and making our work have an aim and a purpose!