A Quest for Filmmakers, Mathematicians, Creative Thinkers

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The second Math-O-Vision contest is well under way at Dartmouth. May 1 at 11:59:59 a.m. marks the submission deadline for the annual film competition. Sponsored by the mathematics department and The Neukom Institute for Computational Science, Math-O-Vision invites high school students to submit four-minute films inspired by the world of mathematics.

Math-O-Vision poster

“When it comes to being interested in math, there are many different kinds of communities,” says Dan Rockmore, founder of the Math-O-Vision competition and the William H. Neukom 1964 Distinguished Professor of Computational Science.

“There are the many people, especially high schoolers, who could be interested in mathematics, but just aren’t yet aware of just how creative, interesting, applicable, and ubiquitous it is. There are those who already love math, but may have never thought about having fun with math through the arts. There are artists who might like the challenge of producing a movie inspired by mathematics. It would be fun if, through Math-O-Vision, we could create a mechanism for all of these peoples to learn about each other and have fun doing a math-oriented, creative project.”

This year, the winner of Math-O-Vision will receive a cash prize of $4,000. The second-place prize is $2,000, and third place is $1,000. Selected from a group of 10 finalists, the winner of Math-O-Vision will be determined by a diverse group of judges.

“In addition to Alan Alda, Steve Strogatz and Ge Wang, we also have Paul Miller (a.k.a. “DJ Spooky”), Eric Kaplan (creator of the popular TV show Big Bang Theory), our own Lorie Loeb (research professor of computer science and director of the Digital Arts Program), and myself,” says Rockmore.

“I’m hopeful that the very early and excellent submissions we’ve already received, as well as the huge uptick in ‘likes’ are a real signal that the contest is known and generating a lot of interest in excitement for high schoolers around the country.”

Potential finalists will be notified by e-mail or phone, and once the judges have determined the top three films, Math-O-Vision administrators will contact the winners on May 21.

“It’s exciting to see something of a ‘community’ growing around the fun that can be had being creative with mathematics and art,” says Rockmore.

“Ultimately Math-O-Vision is about enabling the students to engage with this national community of others who love being creative and on all different levels, appreciate the power and wonder of math.”