November 14 Day 251: Being Festive

We played. We explored. We laughed. And at the end of it all, we lined up on the stage for the “festival photograph” you see above.

Today’s Julia Robinson Math Festival (JRMF) at the University of Washington Tacoma was a great success. Postponed from spring 2020, public health considerations did not allow for an in-person event this autumn either. So my energetic colleague, Duong `Rita’ Than, and I hosted the event in Gather. Based on pre-registration and volunteer numbers, the room was prepared to accommodate seventy-five simultaneous participants (though I don’t think we ever had more than thirty-five at a given time.) Participants controlled their own movements and chose activities in which to engage:

  • Two “games with friends” (Sudoku and SET) were available.
  • Five tables had prepared JRMF activities.
  • Three interactive white boards had classic toothpick puzzles.

Volunteers welcomed participants, facilitated explorations, awarded raffle tickets, and troubleshot technical difficulties. Rita coordinated everything with shared Google documents including direct links to the activities, a raffle ticket spreadsheet, and a form to collect addresses and t-shirt sizes. Prizes were awarded every hour and included :

Plus volunteers and participants got this cool JRMF t-shirt with the topologists view of the United States on the back:

It’s not the same as being in person, but it was definitely worth doing virtually. Thanks to everyone that volunteered or participated, especially:

  • Rita—without her it wouldn’t have happened
  • The UW Tacoma Strategic Initiative Fund
  • BrieAnna and Catarina from Facilities
  • Mathematical colleagues Ryan, Haley, Ruth, Ander, Tom, and Ksenija
  • Graduate Tacoma #TacomaMath folks Jen, Keshreeyaji, ( Ander, & Rita)
  • UW Tacoma Math Club
  • and everyone who encouraged their students/offspring/siblings to participate today.
Event photo accompanied by participant smiles.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

One thought on “November 14 Day 251: Being Festive

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