Contributed by Ehrhard Behrends (Free University, Berlin, Germany)
The competition for modules for a virtual exhibition started in January 2012. Here is the text of the announcement:
“You are invited to prepare museum exhibits in different formats — images, films, programmes — or to design physical exhibits, and submit them for the competition. The best modules will be awarded and shown by our partner museums in 2013.”
The winning entries would receive a monetary award:
First prize: US\$ 5,000
Second prize: US\$ 3,000
Third prize: US\$ 2,000
The announcement was complemented by a detailed description of the desired format of the submitted modules: author’s license, technical description etc.
Twenty-nine entries were submitted for the competition. Most of them came from Europe, but there were also submissions from North America, India and the Philippines.
The following aspects were considered as important when judging the submissions:
* Is there an interesting mathematical content?
* Has the module an MPE-relevance?
* Is it engaging?
* Is the contribution original?
* Is the level appropriate to the public?
* Could one present it without major modifications?
* Is it easy to use for the visitors?
The members of the jury were Tom Banchoff (USA; author of the “Flatland” books), Ehrhard Behrends (Germany; chair of the committee for “raising the public awareness of mathematics” of the European Mathematical Society), Ana Eiró (former director of the Science Museum in Lisbon, Portugal), George Hart (USA; working in “art and mathematics”, one of the curators of MoMath in New York), Oh Nam Kwom (Korea; very active in the popularizaiton of mathematics in Korea); Adrian Paenza (Argentina; known in the Spanish speaking world for his popular mathematical books and his TV performances).
The jury met in early January in Providence (USA) to
I. Select the winners of the first, second, and third prize;
II. Recommend the modules to be shown at the exhibitions in Paris and in museums in connection with MPE2013; and
III. Make further recommendations for the virtual exhibition.
Following are the three entries selected by the jury for the prizes, with their citations:
Third prize: “How to predict the future of glaciers?”, by the team of Guilleaume Jouvet (France/Switzerland/Germany)
“In an entertaining way, this video illustrates the collaboration between a mathematician and a glacier expert as they develop a dynamic model for the evolution of glaciers. At the end of the video, the user can choose among alternative scenarios to see possible futures for the Aletsch glacier in the Alps.”
Second prize: “Dune Ash”, by the team of Tobias Malkmus (Germany)
“This interactive computer program graphically simulates the dispersion of a volcanic ash cloud using a mathematical model. The user chooses the location of the volcano, sketches the direction and strength of the winds, and sets the rate of dispersion. An original interface allows the user to specify complex wind patterns and invites repeated exploration.”
First prize: “Sphere of the Earth”, by the team of Daniel Ramos (Spain)
“This exhibit shows that maps of the spherical surface of the earth on a flat plane must have distortions. The user interactively selects a disc region and sees how various maps distort it. The engaging and easy-to-use interface effectively conveys mathematical ideas relevant to the earth.”
The prize ceremony took place at the UNESCO Headquarters Paris in the morning of March 5.