08. July 2011

Cash for calculus

Wirtschaft unterstützt Zahlenjongleure der Mathematischen Schülergesellschaft

Bild: © Adlershof Special

A quote attributed to the Greek mathematician an physicist Archimedes reads, “There are things which seem incredible to most men who have not studied Mathematics.“ The others are the ones studying it: at the Mathematische Schülergesellschaft “Leonard Euler” (Mathematical students society). The society attracts many young people. Dealing with this popularity requires creativity, not only in math, but also in fundraising.

In early June, more than 120 students were brooding over mathematical problems in an exam. These students share a common goal: They want to become members of one of the sought-after inner circles of the society. Passing the exam is a requirement for gaining access to these circles. The mathematical students society „Leonhard Euler“ (MSG) was founded in 1970 as a joint institution of the faculty of mathematics of the Humboldt-University Berlin (HU) and the Berlin city administration. It is an extracurricular institution for patronising interested and gifted school students from grades 7 to 13. The society’s aim is to wake and engage interest in mathematics.

There are currently 19 circles with 10 to 20 students dwelling on their favourite subject math. “We have a lot more applicants than free places in our circles,” says Dr Ingmar Lehmann of the Institute of Mathematics, HU. According to Lehmann, the society‘s aim is to be able to accommodate 500 students. “For this, we need funds,” he says and adds: “Up to now we have been successfully warding off demands to make the children’s families pay fees.” In order to ensure this does not change, MSG intends to organise fund raising parties – the first one being held this autumn.

“We are surrounded by companies and research institutes that are all interested in promoting young potential scientists and employees,” explains Lehmann. Why not ask them? WISTA-MANAGEMENT, the company that operates the technology park Adlershof, already welcomed the idea and is providing active support. “It will be a family party,” says Lehmann, “with little math games for all participants, which can be collectively solved.” Approximately Euro 1,800 are needed per group. Ten of these groups will be covered by sponsorship. “If we collect more,” says Ingmar Lehmann, “we might consider to re-establish the summer camp.” One week of undisturbed mathematics, perhaps at a lake south of Königs Wusterhausen as before. “It’s been ages since we had money for that,” states Lehmann.

Also, the society has another item on the agenda: a new group for fifth graders.

by Rico Bigelmann

Link:http://didaktik1.mathematik.hu-berlin.de

Contact:
Johann von Neumann-Haus
Haus 2, 3. Etage
Rudower Chaussee 25
D-12489 Berlin

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Bild: © Adlershof Special
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