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National Math Festival 

Math is a fully human enterprise, and as such, the National Math Festival is the co-creation of many partnerships on the personal and organizational levels. You are hearing today from one of these partnerships, David and Kirsten, who among other things fashion the program we present every other spring in this joyous celebration of the beauty, fun, and power of math in everyday life. It is always our pleasure to surprise you. 

When we invite speakers, performers, authors, math organizations, to share with you, we consider many things with care: Can this person / this organization speak to kids and adults of many different backgrounds and levels of preparation in math? Are they likely to excite others with their passion? Will they be a force for social unity to help bring about a culture shift in which math becomes playful, powerful, relevant, interesting – and mine? 

A sense of belonging in math is what we aim to produce. We hope you see yourself reflected in the program of the 2021 National Math Festival. At this moment of wider cultural inflection in which collective consciousness is evolving rapidly, our intention is to participate joyfully, and clearly, in making a stronger world which is more human-centered, playful, admiring of children of all ages. The world we want to see needs more people of all ages and races and life experiences to understand they are mathematics: mathematics is their birthright and their practice.

Math threads through the world, everything we love about it, and how it can take us places we never knew. So we hope you will join us, when the time comes, to hear Brittney Morris read from her teen gaming novel Slay; and Candice Price describe the ‘face’ of mathematics; and jump in when Professor Lyrical invites you to create a math rap on the fly; and bring your stories when Maisha Moses and James Tanton convene a conversation about math and prisons.

If our aim is culture change, we are in it together with you. We hope you are, in the words of a friend, “struggling and thriving all at once” in these high-energy, swirling times as we all learn new steps together. We are honored to be walking with you in this unfolding math journey.

With love,

David and Kirsten

David Eisenbud, Director, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), and Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley


Kirsten Bohl, Project Lead, National Math Festival

2021 Festival Presenters and Major Activity Presenters
Want to see the 2021 NMF program? Look no further — it's here! — just click through the faces of these lovely mathematicians in order to see what mathy treasures they are bringing you. We are excited about this world-class lineup, and we hope you are, too.
View the 2021 NMF Program

Find More Math Inspiration from Our Partners & Friends

Photo by The Thinkery (Austin, TX)
A few weeks ago we shared a collection of relaxing, joyful math resources to try at home. There was so much to share, it spilled over into a second posting. As school lets out and summer sets in, we are intrigued by many of the math activities for indoors and out, and DIY projects for all ages. We hope you find something here to enjoy!
Click here to find more math inspiration

Don't Miss the Fun! View Our NMF Roundtables Online

We decided this spring to experiment with playful math online, and we invited our NMF presenters, performers, and Mathical Book Prize authors to join us. The results were three NMF Roundtables, which are recapped here in case you missed them! From juggling with Rhys Thomas, moving to the math beat with the Music Notes, and hearing Jennifer Swender read from Solving for M, get a glimpse of the 2021 Festival here!

2021 Sponsors

We joyfully thank our 2021 Festival sponsors:
Simons Foundation · Alfred P. Sloan Foundation · Schmidt Futures
Simons Foundation
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Schmidt Futures
American Mathematical Society (AMS)
Festival Organizers: MSRI · IAS · MoMath
The National Math Festival is a program of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) and the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath).

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