Julia Robinson Math Festival

The Julia Robinson Math Festival that was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2020 is cancelled in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. We plan to schedule another festival for May 2021.

Once registration is open, you will be able to register here

What is a Julia Robinson Math Festival?

Imagine a room full of kids, working together at tables on activities ranging from easy puzzles to super-challenging problems. Each table will have a theme, and  students will have time to visit at least five or six activities. For a sample activity, see Folding Fractals. Each activity table will be staffed by an expert, and upon reaching certain milestones in their understanding of the mathematics behind the activity, students will be rewarded with raffle tickets for prize drawings.

This article gives an idea of the flavor of the festival, and additional information can be found at the jrmf.org website.

Here are some pictures and a video from previous years.

Where and when will the festival be?

The festival will be on Sunday, May 2, 2020 from 1:00 – 3:30 pm in the Great Hall of the Carolina Student Union, on the campus of UNC.  You can check in starting at 12:30.  You can come any time, stay as long as you like, and leave when you are ready.

Who can come to the festival?

The festival is for students in grades K – 12, with a separate quiet area especially suitable for younger students.  We will have tables arranged by topic and difficulty level with maps to help guide students towards the activities that suit their level and interests.

What does it cost?

We ask families to pay $10 per student if possible. You will be directed to a payment page when you register. But anyone can  request a fee waiver and come for free.

Do I need to register in advance?

Yes. Please register here. If there is room the day of the event, you may be able to register at the door, but if at all possible, please register in advance.

What activities will there be?

You can get a flavor from this map of activities for the 2019 festival, but the 2020 activities will almost all be different. A map of 2020 activities will be posted about a week before the event.

New this year we will have a mathematical art exhibit. Child and adult artists are welcome to submit mathematical art and craft pieces. The deadline is April 20 for the curated part of the exhibit. There will be certificates of participation for the curated part. There will also be a free expression wall, and raffle tickets for anyone who joins. Write maria@naturalmath.com for more information. Please recommend local artists and studios that you’d like us to invite.

Also new this year, we will have a mathematical costume contest. Come dressed along the theme of: “What does a mathematician do?” Anyone wearing a math themed costume will win a raffle ticket.

Can parents come?

Parents (or other responsible adults) should be available to supervise their kids, but the math activities themselves are intended for the kids.

Can I volunteer?

Yes! We need math volunteers as facilitators at the activity tables and general volunteers to help with set-up, check-in, prizes, and more.  You can sign up to volunteer here.

Will there be any food available?

There may be food available for purchase at Alpine Bagels in the Carolina Union very close by. You are also welcome to bring your own snacks and lunch.

Where can I park?

There is visitor parking available in various spots on campus, including Swain Lot across from Phillips Hall, the Morehead Planetarium lot, the Raleigh Road lot, and the Ram’s Head Parking Deck.  There are also public parking decks on Rosemary Street a few blocks away. Please allow extra time to find parking.  Carpooling is encouraged!

Who is Julia Robinson?

Julia Robinson is the Berkeley mathematician who, among other important
discoveries, made significant contributions to the solution of
Hilbert’s Tenth Problem.