Uniwersalny relatywizm zazwyczaj oszczędza też matematykę. Łatwiej śledzić w historii skoki w naukach empirycznych i humanistycznych, niż odpowiedzieć na proste pytanie: jak to się stało, że Galileusz i Newton obrócili arystotelesowską fizykę w gruzy, a dowody Euklidesa wciąż pozostają w mocy?

Leszek Kołakowski

Meetings with Maths

Meetings with Maths is a cyclical event with popular science lectures aimed to youth school students within the area of Katowice, which has been organized since 2002. It was then, when a group of teachers belonging to Silesian Branch of Polish Mathematical Society has come up with an idea to organize a science session. Project of this maths popularizing event formerly referred to “Wieczornice Matematyczne” (“Maths Evenings”): popular lectures for youth held in School of Education in Katowice years ago. Math Evenings were organized by a group of mathematicians, including such outstanding teachers as Maria Zajączkowska. Nowadays, dr Krystyna Skórnik, the longstanding president of OG PTM, is the patron of Meetings with Maths. The host of the session is Maria-Skłodowska-Curie Secondary School of General Education No.8, a school with many years' mathematical tradition. The School is proud of a significant number of mathematic Olympians, winners of mathematical contests and annual outstanding results in mathematics in Matura exam. Among School's graduates there are many notable scientists, including mathematicians: prof. Krzystof R. Apt, prof. dr hab. Tomasz Dłotko, prof. dr hab. Ewa Ligocka, prof. dr hab. Ryszard Rudnicki, prof. dr hab. Adam Paweł Wojda. The prominent role of the School in the area of science would not be able without the effort of many great teachers working here. Two of them must be highlighted: physics teacher – professor Józef Greupner and mathematics teacher – professor Teodor Paliczka. Both of them gave around 50 years of their career life to the School and had been teaching here till they died. Current teachers follow the same form as their great forerunners started. Together with youth, they strive to make the School a regional centre of popularizing science. To achieve the goal, Physics Days are held since 1991 and Meetings with Maths since 2002.

The aim of Meetings with Maths is to present these areas of mathematics which students may not have encountered while attending the compulsory school course. The lectures might concern the history of mathematics, elements of higher mathematics or links between maths and other subjects. Organizers' will is to show youngsters that the world of mathematics is not hermetic. Just the opposite, maths is the universal key* that opens science doors to the greatest secrets of the Universe.

Through the past editions of Meetings with Maths, there has evolved a stable form of the event. The main part of the session consists of few minutes' multimedia presentations given by students from various schools. Apart from the host school community, read-outs are presented by students from: Konopnicka Secondary School No.2 in Katowice, Mickiewicz Secondary School No.3 in Katowice, Chrobry Secondary School No.1 in Pszczyna. A special guest visits every session. Audience has had a chance to listen to lectures given by professors from: University of Silesia, Jagiellonian University, University of Wrocław, University of Warsaw and University of Amsterdam. A series of lectures and read-outs is accompanied by short music performances, quizzes and logic games.

Since 2010 Meetings with Maths have been merged with the ceremony of Profesor Teodor Paliczka Award.

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