Computer Science Popularization

You are warmly invited to register now for the 5th International Conference on Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication (CMSC’21) which will be held at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, 2–6 July, 2021.

The International Conference on Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication (CMSC) is a unique gathering of computer scientists and mathematicians, teachers, musicians, dancers, dramatists, game designers, educators and communicators of all sorts.

Due to the pandemic, the in-person event scheduled for 2020 has been postponed and a short CMSC Online Event was organized as a “teaser” or trailer in order to feel the spirit of the full 5th CMSC 2021. See the website at for the recording.

The CMSC aims to explore new ways of communicating the rich mathematics, algorithmics, and open problems underlying
computer science, including algorithmic and computational thinking across the curriculum, using outdoor activities, art, dance, music, drama and all forms of storytelling. The conference is an opportunity to share ideas and further refine and develop activities.

The unique interaction between artists (theatre, dance, graphic arts, music) and mathematicians / mathematics educators and communicators was seen at the first conference in the series, held at Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, Australia in 2013 (see Journal of Humanistic Mathematics Volume 10 Number 2 (July 2020) Frances Rosamond 577). It included camping in the outback and visiting Aboriginal schools.

The second CMSC was hosted at the Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Chennai (IMSc) by Ramanujam, and included a Science Day at a gathering
of local, rural schools with hundreds of students attending.
The 3rd CMSC was hosted by Rudiger Reischuk at the University of Lübeck.
The TLC Art Academy of Wellington, New Zealand owned by Jonathan and
Alice Wilson Milne was the site of the 4th CMSC and possibly the first time
a computer science and mathematics conference was held at an art academy
(see [2]). Jonathan led the conference participants in exploring the math
found in minute details of our quick abstract paintings.
Due to the pandemic, the in-person event scheduled for 2020 has been postponed
until 2 - 6 July 2021.
You are hereby warmly invited to register now for this 5th International
Conference on Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication
(CMSC’21) which will be held at Adam Mickiewicz University
in Poznan, Poland, 2–6 July, 2021. The local organizing committee is
headed by Dr. Małgorzata Bednarska-Bzdega. Partners include the Ignacy
Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznan, the Teacher Training Centre
and the Supercomputing and Networking Center, and the International
Cryptology Game the CODEBREAKERS. The conference is in cooperation
Conference website is at:<
Welcome are submissions in various formats including activities, demonstrations,
papers, workshops and ideas for leading round-table discussions, and
activities that are still in development. Importantly, we welcome reports
from scientists on how outreach has contributed to their research program.
Special Events include an All Community Day of mathematics activities for
children and adults, a vibrant mathematical festival for all of Poznan where
all students, teachers, parents are invited to participate in indoor/outdoor
activities and workshops, to bring their favourite activities, and to critique
activities that are still in development, such as a GPS Sorting Network or
an Invisible Graph Dominating Set. The activity can be experimental –
something that one would like to try and get participant feedback.
578 Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication: 2020-2021
Challenge yourself to communicate our research culture to young people and
you will inevitably confront fresh mathematical questions that will renew
your own research, and your field. The creative dynamic is bi-directional.
Welcome are reports from scientists on how outreach has contributed to
their research program; such as, new theorems or research directions that
have come about as a result of interaction with youngsters.
New curricula requirements in schools around the world offer an opportunity
to attract children to open problems, to dare reach for gold. Combinatorics
and computer science mathematics offer extensive opportunities in this regard.
A crypto game is being planned by the Enigma Museum, which is a showcase
for cryptography, and for the Poznan mathematicians who broke the cyphers
of the German Enigma during WWII.1,2
The Music Academy in Poznan will present its premier algorithmic music
concert, the culmination of a course that teaches computer science, mathematics
and music.
The LEGO Education Studio of Poznan will offer workshops for CMSC participants.
The related conference Contemporary Mathematics Education CME’21 (formerly
known as Children’s Mathematical Education), has announced its new
dates: Monday 28 June - Thursday 1 July 2021 in Gdansk, Poland.
On 7 July, there will be a research discussion meeting (FPT Workshop) on
Multivariate Algorithmics: Fresh Ideas and New Results, from 9:30 AM to 4
We look forward to seeing you at the 5th International Conference
on Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication (CMSC’21)
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, 2–6 July, 2021.
1Over the past 10 years, approximately 12,000 people from all continents have participated
in the International Cryptology Game (
available in many languages; see the trailer here:
2Here is a documentary (made in Poznan!) about Enigma conquerors. It was presented
in Bletchley Park a few years ago:
2243? Another, new short documentary presenting new facts
about the Enigma decryption can be viewed at:
Frances Rosamond 579
A Partial Report on the 2020 Online Event
A short CMSC Online Event was organized as a “teaser” or trailer in order to
feel the spirit of the full 5th CMSC 2021. The fast-paced program included
presentations of no more than 15 minutes each, followed by friendly, enjoyable
sharing of ideas and the stimulation of imaginative new possibilities in the
remote style we are now, (at least for a while), adapting to.
The Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication (CMSC’20) Online
Event, July 3 in Poznan, Poland, and around the world felt as exciting as a
carnival as dancers whirled mathematical shapes, an algorithmic music ensemble
gave a premier performance, and presentations described innovative
activities attracting interest in the mathematical sciences. See the website
at for the recording.
Frances Rosamond, Chair of CMSC (University of Bergen) and Brett Stephenson
(University of Tasmania and Guilford Young College) introduced the
CMSC Online Event presentations. Brett and Sarah Carruthers (Vancouver
Island University) were co-chairs of the Program Committee.
Frances began the Online Event with an introduction and brief history of
Here are some of the highlights of the online 2020 event, just to whet your
appetite for the upcoming 2021 event:
Judith Gal-Ezer “The Power behind the Power Point”
Judith Gal-Ezer (Open Univ of Israel) is a special Scientific Guest of the
City of Poznan, the Mayor of Poznan’s program Scientific Poznan. Prof.
Gal-Ezer spoke about the teaching of computer-integrated mathematics and
computer science education. She has received the 2007 SIGCSE Award for
Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education.
Jerzy Pogonowski “Mathematical puzzles in education”
Prof. Pogonowski is an expert in applications of logic, methodology of science
and philosophy of mathematics the Department of Logic and Cognitive
Science at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. He teaches mathematical
logic, problem solving and general linguistics, and gave examples of
teaching by mathematical puzzles.
580 Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication: 2020-2021
Julia Hybiak, Michal Janocha and Wojciech Kaszuba “Lambdaensemble”
Joint forces of the Adam Mickiewicz University and the Academy of Music in
Poznan premiered some of their algorithmic music. Ms Hybiak is a student of
Adam Mickiewicz University and a primary school teacher of math and CS.
Michal Janocha and Wojciech Kaszuba work in the Institute of Composing
and Music Theory of the Academy of Music. They are involved in a course of
algorithmic music, for CS, math and music students. We will see the results
of the course at CMSC’21, at the Student Laptop Orchestra concert.
Tim Bell “CS Unplugged: Update from New Zealand”
A professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering
at the University of Canterbury, Prof. Bell has changed the landscape
of computer science study programs in New Zealand high schools.
Bell is a leader of the CS Unplugged project and co-author of the interactive
CS Field Guide, which is of tremendous value to teachers in this online
teaching era (see He was awarded
the 2018 SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science
Katarina Cheng “Math through dance: A translation”
Miss Cheng is a high school student from Santa Monica, California, USA.
She showed her winning video in the Strogatz Prize Performance category,
“Dancing the Dihedral Group”.3
Rohan Jha “Internet security and cryptography”
Mr. Jha is a high school student from India, living in New Jersey, USA. He
won the Strogatz Prize for Math Communication in the Writing category by
starting the magazine Math Musings to make math fun for everyone and to
promote the beauty of math. Mr. Jha gave an introduction to elliptic curve
3Katarina Cheng and Rohan Jha are two of the high school student winners of the
worldwide Steven H. Strogatz Prize competition for Math Communication, awarded by
the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in New York; see more about the competition at
Frances Rosamond 581
Andreas Daniel Matt “I AM A.I. – explaining artificial intelligence
through interactive applications, games and stories”
Andreas Daniel Matt is Managing Director of IMAGINARY (IMAGINARY
was initiated at the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, a member
of the Leibniz Association). Mr. Matt presented the Artificial Intelligence
exhibit: (see The exhibit examines
questions like: How does a neural network learn? Why is a computer able
to recognize the numbers I write? Can artificial intelligence be wrong sometimes?
What are training data sets? Is it possible to perform a task without
understanding it? Matt is a math communicator, fond of visual and interactive
The Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble
Karl Schaffer is a mathematician and a dancer. He teaches mathematics at De
Anza College in Cupertino, California. Erik Stern is a musician, a dancer, and
interdisciplinary educator, a Professor of Dance at Weber State University
in Ogden, Utah. World-famous for their performances and workshops that
unify concepts in both mathematics and dance, they perform at math and
art conferences, in schools, and museums (e.g. the MoMath in New York,
the National Science Museum in Seoul). They promote whole body math
and movement activities for the K-12 classroom that unify concepts in both
mathematics and dance (
Karl Schaffer and Erik Stern; Tim Bell & CS Unplugged; Poznan Academy
of Music
582 Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication: 2020-2021
Pawel Perekietka and Michal Ren “Enigma codebreakers”
Pawel Perekietka is a CS teacher in a high school in Poznan and author of a
CS handbook for high schools. He is founder and organizer of Koala Team
Contest for schools (Koala=Combinatorics+Algorithms+Logic). Michal Ren
is an adjunct professor at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. He is an
organiser of many math and CS festivals for wide audiences. Pawel and
Michal are co-authors of the Polish translation of CS Unplugged project resources.
They discussed the Polish mathematicians, Marian Rejewski, Jerzy
Ró?ycki and Henryk Zygalski who broke the Enigma code and during WWII
gave the methods to their British and French allies.
Frances Rosamond “Conflict models by graphs”
Informatics professor at the University of Bergen, Prof. Rosamond started
the CMSC conference series in 2013. She gives CS Unplugged workshops
around the world with her husband Michael Fellows. Rosamond has initiated
Bebras in Norway. She presented conflict resolution using graphs (Vertex
Cover) as an example of modelling that can be used by teachers in any
subject area.
Please keep in mind that a recording of the event is now posted on the CMSC
website at by the Poznan Supercomputing
and Networking Center, that provided the technology expertise for the
online mini-conference.
[1] Rosamond, F. “Computer Maths: Curiosity, Art, Story! The First International
Conference on Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication,”
Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 3 Issue 2 (July
2013), pages 153-155. Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.
[2] Rosamond, F. “CMSC 2018: 4th Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication
Conference,” Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume
8 Issue 1 (January 2018), pages 489-490. Available at: https://

Computer Science Unplugged!


The best resource we know for popularizing the mathematics behind computing is in the book Computer Science Unplugged! by Tim Bell, Ian Witten and Mike Fellows. Unplugged! has been translated into over ten languages, including Chinese, Korean, Spanish. Google has sponsored videos and additional material to make the book useful for teachers and workshop leaders. Unplugged! is available by download over the internet at Computer Science Unplugged!

The picture on the right shows Mike Fellows demonstrating the Sorting Tarp at a Math Day in Jena, Germany.

The British Faraday Christmas Lectures

Tune in to this famous series of Christmas lectures, given this year by Prof Chris Bishop, Head of Microsoft in UK. The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures have been inspiring children and adults alike since 1825. The Christmas Lectures were initiated by Michael Faraday at a time when organised education for young people was scarce. He presented 19 series of Christmas Lectures himself, establishing an exciting new venture of teaching science to young people. Chris will include material and activities from Computer Science Unplugged in this year's lectures. Faraday Christmas Lectures

Dagstuhl Seminar for popularizing Computer Science.

2009 Dagstuhl Seminar 09142, 31.03.09 - 03.04.09. Perspectives Workshop: Preventing the Brainware Crisis. Organized by Stephan Diehl (Universität Trier, DE), Mike Fellows (University of Newcastle, AU), Werner Hartmann (PH Bern, CH), Ulrike Stege (University of Victoria, CA)

The ACM-SIGCSE: Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education.

The ACM-SIGCSE (Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education) has special interest in Computer Science Unplugged! and has had several workshops at the annual conference. Contact person is Lynn Lambert, who has organized several of the workshops. Lynn is Associate Professor of Computer Science at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. She is actively involved in increasing participation in science and the computing sciences at many levels, having been Principal Investigator for one NSF-funded and three NASA-funded grants, serving as a research mentor in the CRA distributed mentor project, and doing frequent unplugged-type outreach especially at the elementary school level.

Computational Thinking

Professor Jeanette Wing is the President's Professor of Computer Science, Computer Science Department, Carnegie Mellon University. In "Viewpoint" in the COMMUNICATIONS OF THE ACM March 2006/Vol. 49, No. 3, Wing wrote an inspiring article **"Computational Thinking"**.

Wing's article begins:
Computational thinking builds on the power and limits of computing processes, whether they are executed by a human or by a machine. Computational methods and models give us the courage to solve problems and design systems that no one of us would be capable of tackling alone. Computational thinking confronts the riddle of machine intelligence: What can humans do better than computers? and What can computers do better than humans? Most fundamentally it addresses the question: What is computable? Today, we know only parts of the answers to such questions.

A special Institute at Carnegie Mellon produces materials for mathematical popularization.

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