Thursday 1 November, prof. d.r Vinod Subramaniam opened the mathematics exhibition IMAGINARY at the DesignLab. For this festive occasion, Henk van der Vorst, whose work can be seen during the exhibition display, was also asked to come forward. The exhibition is free to visit every working day, by anyone, until 18 November.
The idea of the collaboration between art and science is important to Vinod. Among others, he quoted Russian mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaya who said, "It is impossible to be a mathematician without being a poet in your soul". According to Vinod, in this case, we can also substitute poet for artist. This gets close to the heart of what the exhibition is about. Mathematics can be found in practically every field of research and work. The exhibition on the power and beauty of mathematics is therefore of great importance.
The exhibition is also important for another reason. Fewer and fewer high school students are opting for the N&T (Nature & Technology) profile. In fact, this number is historically low. It is our responsibility to show these, and future, students that there is beauty in mathematics and the natural sciences. It is therefore essential that students visit exhibitions like this one. Without these students, we cannot best address the challenges of the future, such as energy and climate. We will need many people with a foundation in mathematics or natural sciences, together with people involved in social sciences, to help us find solutions to future challenges.
Vinod: “I am therefore delighted to be able to celebrate the beauty and power of mathematics with you tonight!”
After the official opening, attendees were the first to get a look at the exhibition. Henk van der Vorst, whose works are on display during IMAGINARY, was also present at the opening. He was able to explain his own works and working methods on the spot.
After everyone had taken in the exhibition and enjoyed a drink and a snack, it was time for the second part of the evening.
Studium Generale, in collaboration with Abacus and Daedalus, organised the workshop 'Geometric Origami. The workhop was conducted by Henk van der Vorst, emeritus professor of Numerical Mathematics. Being actively involved in paper folding, or origami, originated with Henk from a desire to make graphic designs three-dimensional.
During the workshop, Henk explained various folding techniques, which he was able to illustrate using his own examples. But the audience was also allowed to try their hand at paper folding. According to Henk, there are no strict rules and everything is possible within origami. Nevertheless, precision is important.