How this project began
In the year 2000, the International Mathematical Union launched a programme to popularize mathematics. Now, with the support of UNESCO, Madame Minela Alarcon, who is in charge of the basic Sciences in this organisation, has proposed to continue this idea using a travelling exhibition.
Mathematics is a part of our everyday life. The telephone, credit cards, travel, weather forecasting and many other things, hide their dependence on mathematics from us.
They are part of our heritage and our human culture as is shown by programmes in schools and universities.
Much has already been done, especially by learned societies (European Mathematical Society and many national mathematical societies of France, Italy, UK and others) to improve the image of mathematics with the general public. Posters about "Mathematics and nature" and "Mathematics in daily life" played and important part in this.
These posters, with the booklet which accompanies them, as well as the actions taken in Japan to popularize mathematics, were the origin of this project. Following the World Mathematical Year, its organizers and a group of mathematicians lead by Professor Akiyama, started to define the objectives of this new exhibition.
This group is working jointly with the Centre•Sciences of Orléans (Région Centre-France) and, of course, shares the cultural and scientific ideals of UNESCO.