Science Literacy Week 2022: Exploring the Breadth of Mathematics

November 28, 2022

The diversity of mathematics was showcased this past September at the Math Outside the Box: SFU Mathematics High School Day event.

Our Lecturer Dr. Joanna Niezen and Cynthia Henson from the Dean of Science’s Office organized this event as part of Science Literacy Week, a Canada-wide initiative that promotes science to the general public. This year’s theme of “M for Mathematics” was an opportunity for members of our department to share their work and experiences. 

The SFU event hosted activities for high school students in honours grade 10 and 11 mathematics. The students were treated to the following roster of presentations and activities, showcasing the use of math outside the classroom.

  • The Mathematics of Perspective - Brenda Davison, MSc. 
  • Going viral: the mathematics of infectious diseases - Dr. Ben Ashby
  • Hidden mathematics in the card game SET - Dr. Jonathan Jedwab
  • Math Beyond Calculations - Danielle Rogers, BSc.
  • Meet a Math Student Panel - MacKenzie Carr, MSc., Hailey Ahn, Katrina de Vera, BSc., Hannah Potgieter, BSc., and Olivia Gutenberg, BFA.

Additionally, outreach displays with math swag and book and movie recommendations were held in partnership with the SFU Libraries.

"It was incredible to see so many young students actively engaging with mathematics without formulas, paper, or pencil,” says Dr. Niezen. “The activities made the concepts approachable and gave students an idea of how math is utilized outside the classroom. It was a great collaboration connecting us to the high school students in our area."

The teachers from Riverside Secondary school agreed: "It's an exciting experience for the [students] to visit SFU. The math activities created were engaging for all interests."

A huge thank goes to these presenters and volunteers, who helped to bring this event to life:

  • Hailey Ahn
  • Dr. Ben Ashby
  • Dr. Sophie Burrill
  • MacKenzie Carr
  • Brenda Davison
  • Katrina de Vera
  • Olivia Gutenberg
  • Dr. Jonathan Jedwab
  • Jingzhou Na
  • Hannah Potgieter
  • Danielle Rogers
  • Samuel Simon

Learn more about Science Literacy Week here.