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Experiencing Mathematics — A Travelling Exhibition

From its beginning, ICMI has been involved in the project of the international mathematics exhibition Experiencing Mathematics!, initiated and supported by UNESCO and developed by the Centre de culture scientifique, technique et industrielle (CCSTI) of the Région Centre-Orléans in France, together with Tokay University (Tokyo) and the Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines).

This interactive exhibition is intended to show to all visitors that mathematics

  • is astonishing, interesting and useful
  • is accessible, for the first steps, to everyone
  • plays a large part in our daily life
  • has an important role in our culture, sustainable development and progress.

The exhibition was presented first at ICME-10 in Copenhagen in July 2004, and since that time has travelled around the world, being presented to more than 800 000 pupils and students, their teachers and parents, in more than 50 cities from 20 countries, in Southern Africa, Middle East, South-East Asia, and Europe. It is now travelling in Asia and Latin America, and was also shown in July 2008 in Monterrey at the time of ICME-11.

In March 2008, a multilingual virtual exhibition based on this interactive hands-on exhibition was developed for teachers  especially for secondary teachers of southern countries  by the CCSTI of the Région Centre-Orléans. This virtual exhibition is supported by the Unesco Basic Science Eucation Program.

ICMI brings its continued support to the project Experiencing Mathematics!  For more information, visit the homepage of this travelling international math exhibition.

Exhibition "Experiencing Mathematics" in West Africa

Report 2010

With the help of UNESCO, but also of IMU, ICMI and CIMPA, we have presented the Maths exhibition in 2 countries, Senegal and Benin in 2009 and Burkina-Faso in 2010.


April-June 2009

With the help of the French Embassy and the French ministry of foreign Affairs, we have succeeded to present the exhibition just for EMF2009 in Dakar (Colloque de l'Espace Mathématique Francophone – in April, 6th to 10th) who took place at the Cheikh Anta Diop University.

Presentation in 4 places of 3 regions:

- Dakar, Lycée JF Kennedy (8th to 18th April) First setting up and training for animators and 8 professors from Dakar University with Philippe Brière, designer from Centre.Sciences.

- Kaolack, Lycée Waly Ndiaye (20th to 29th Avril).

- Saint-Louis, Lycée El Hadji Omar Tall (10th to 16th May).

- Dakar, Lycée Limamou Laye (8th to 15th June).

At all we can estimate at 8.500 the visitors of the exhibition in 2 months.


• Pr Cheikh Mbacké Diop, IREMPT Director, Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar-Fann

• Mr Gilles Thuaudet, Cultural Attaché, French Embassy for arrival and departure.

• Mr Alexandre Mbaye Diop, Director of Secondary Education, for the itinerancy

• Pr Mamadou Sangaré, Director of "Ecole doctorale maths & informatiques", Dakar University
These 4 persons are representatives of their administrative structures at the official opening on the 9th April.

At the end, the material was sent to Benin by air.


October-November 2009

The exhibition was presented in 2 places:

- Cotonou, French Cultural Centre (6th to 25th October).

- Porto-Novo, University (1st to 15th November).

First setting up and training for animators and teachers from Cotonou University and Lycée Montaigne with Régis Goiffon from Lyon University. Régis Goiffon has presented the 2 CDroms and web sites:


and had a training session with the Maths teachers of Lycée Montaigne one half-day.
At all we can estimate at 2.500 the visitors of the exhibition in the 2 cities.


• Pr Joel Tossa, ISMP Director, Abomé-Calavi University, Porto-Novo

• Mr Alain Richard, Cultural Attaché, Fr. Embassy for arrival, departure & logistic.

• Mr Frédéric Gales, Professor at Lycée Montaigne (Cotonou) for the coordination


The material was sent to Burkina Faso by air.

Burkina Faso

April-June 2010

The exhibition will be presented in 3 places:

- Ouagadougou, French Cultural Centre

- Koudougou, Lycée provincial

- Bobo-Diolasso, French Cultural Centre


• Pr Kalifa Traoré, IUT Director, Koudougou University

• Mr Bella Sawadogo , Inspecteur de l’Education nationale

• Ms Anne-Sophie Barreau, Cultural Attachée, French Embassy

One year before, Kalifa Traoré with a director committee (Gérard Kientega, Charles Nassouri, Moussa Ouattara from Ouagadougou University and 8 other members, Kirsi Douamba, Akry Koulibaly, Charles Nassouri, Françoise Ouédraogo, Issa Ouédraogo, Stanislas Ouaro, Bela Sawadogo, Hamidou Touré) began to find the good time, the best places and the animators in each, the found to pay them... contact the presidents of each university, the Minister of Education (Pr Joseph Pare), the French Embassy.

Against the difficulties of starting (arrival of the material from Benin in late, bad school period with the examinations...), the success was total and is growing in power from one city to another. First setting up and training for animators and teachers with Régis Goiffon (Lyon).

At all we can estimate at 4.500 visitors of the exhibition in the 3 cities.

In summary, with time and patience, thanks to the will and the perseverance of the mathematicians of the three countries, these presentations could be done successfully.
Only one regret: other neighbouring countries could not enjoy from it.

The virtual exhibition "Experiencing mathematics"

Angola in 2009

Note that the virtual exhibition,, continue to be presented in Angola where a second training session with teachers for teachers was done in December 2009 with the help of INIDE and UNESCO. The CDrom and the pdf files were distributed to more than 120 Angola teachers in other training sessions.

In the same case,

-    300 CDrom were given to maths teachers in Chile in January 2010 where
the exhibition was presented for a second time.

-    1.000 were given to Spanish maths teachers in Cordoba  in September for the XIII CEAM congress where the exhibition was presented for 2 months.

Michel Darche