Start for "IMAGINARY Turkey" Mathematics Exhibition

The preparations are running at full tilt: soon, the interactive mathematics exhibition "IMAGINARY – with the eyes of mathematics" will visit Turkey. Starting in April 29th, 2015, it will be on display in Istanbul; in autumn it will continue on to Izmir and Diyarbakır. What is special about the exhibition is its interactive installations, its virtual worlds and the 3D objects on the subject of mathematics and the history of its origins.

© Christian Stussak

© Christian Stussak

IMAGINARY Turkey is one of the idea competition projects of the German-Turkish Year of Science and at the same time a part of the international project IMAGINARY, which started with an interactive travelling exhibit in Germany in 2008, in the Year of Mathematics. Over the course of recent years, this exhibition has developed into an open source organisation with a platform ( and an international network for interactive teaching of mathematics. So far, IMAGINARY has been on display in over 132 cities in 30 countries and has delighted hundreds of thousands while raising interest and curiosity in mathematics and encouraging experimentation.

"IMAGINARY Turkey" in Turkish

With the idea competition project IMAGINARY Turkey, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the extraordinary mathematics exhibition and platform is receiving a new dimension. The joint project of the Mathematical Research Institute Oberwolfach, the Turkish Mathematical Society and the Istanbul Center for Mathematical Sciences aims to show mathematics as the "key technology of key technologies": Contents and basic concepts of current mathematical research are presented in such a way that they not only appeal to professional circles, but also to the public, with its own platform in Turkish, using interactive exhibits, school projects and media campaigns. Through the joint organisation of the exhibitions and through additional German-Turkish projects in the area of communicating mathematics, scientific contacts between the two countries should be strengthened and networks built up.

Four exhibitions in Turkey planned for 2015

The idea competition project officially started on January 1, 2015 and will continue until February 2016. "We want to get people excited about mathematics, bring partners from research and the public in contact with each other and create long–term partnerships – in and with Turkey," says Bianca Violet, project manager of IMAGINARY Turkey. In Turkey, four exhibitions are already planned for 2015. The first of the two exhibitions in Istanbul will open on April 29, 2015 (,, and two more will take place in Izmir and Diyarbakır in autumn. There is also great interest in Ankara and other cities.

"We are in the middle of the preparation, and a lot has already happened," Violet explains. "First, we completely translated the existing online platform, including the software and exhibits, into Turkish ( and expanded it technically, so that Turkish partners can integrate new and specific contents, for example exhibits about their own current research projects. The two interactive programs SURFER and Cinderella were translated into Turkish for the exhibition. They make it possible to experience mathematics in an interactive way and to generate mathematic contents – and thus form the centrepiece of the exhibition. The best example for this is the logo that was specially developed for the IMAGINARY Turkey project. It was created using SURFER and represents a Turkish tea glass. The idea for this came from Su Özer, and the design was developed by Deniz Beşer and Ferit Öztürk. Aside from additional programs, films, 3D-sculptures and images, Turkish descriptions can also be seen. The exhibitions are directed at a general audience and are free of charge. In the mornings there are tours for school classes, tutors are always on site, usually mathematics students who bring visitors closer to the world of mathematics. Several campaigns are also planned, including a competition for images prepared using the SURFER program or a photography competition on the subject of symmetries in the city.  

"We are planning to continue to use the exhibition and its exhibits even after the German-Turkish Year of Science," says Violet. "We are in contact with the Nesin mathematics village at Şirince, which is around 75 km from Izmir. This is where young and old can learn about and teach mathematics, out in the wild and far from everyday stress. It would be a wonderful place to present the exhibits permanently and to hold additional exhibitions in Turkey."

Additional information about planned and previous activities can be found at the IMAGINARY Turkey portal. There is also a Facebook and Twitter account in Turkish.

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