Mathematics for a Better World, UNESCO marks International Day of Mathematics, 14 March

14 March, proclaimed by UNESCO as International Day of Mathematics (IDM), will be held under the theme “Mathematics for a Better World”. Celebrating the beauty and relevance of mathematics, the Day highlights the essential role played by this discipline in reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Organized by the International Mathematics Union, IDM will feature a mixture of virtual and face-to-face celebrations, notably in classrooms. Celebrations are scheduled in more than 70 countries with over 410 individual events.

The new feature of IDM 2021 is the Poster Challenge to which more than 2,100 schools and organizations responded, producing their own IDM poster to illustrate one facet of the theme of “Mathematics for a Better World”. The posters will be made available to all under an open licence.

IDM 2021 is celebrated on all continents. From Madagascar to Gambia, from Panama to Chile, from Albania to Malaysia, from Bangladesh to Australia, people all over the world are organizing festivities. An international live celebration in English, French and Spanish will take place on 14 March, 2 to 6pm, UTC. Also, 48 hours of live coverage on the IDM website will start at 00:00 New Zealand time and end at 24:00 Pacific time. The international celebration is complemented by national and local competitions, conferences, exhibitions, and talks, organized by mathematical societies, research institutes, museums, schools, universities, etc.

In Algeria, many events will take place all over the country to show how mathematics helps improve our world. They consist in the organization of webinars, national mathematics competitions, recreational mathematics, and classroom activities.

In a joint project with the Simons Foundation, the mathematical societies of Algeria, Senegal, and the Republic of Congo will organize online and on site activities on mathematics and artificial intelligence, as well as mathematical games, for a large audience in French, Arabic, and English. They will also offer special training programmes for teachers and educators in Africa and the Arab region.

The date of 14 March is already known as Pi Day and celebrated in many countries. It is named after the important number π, the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle, approximately equal to 3.14. The IDM celebration expands Pi Day to include the whole spectrum of mathematics. In view of the pandemic, the 2021 theme of “Mathematics for a Better World” reminds us that athematics and statistics are essential tools for decision-makers in that they enable us to predict the evolution of the disease and optimizemitigation strategies with limited resources. But the role of mathematics in building a better world goes well beyond the pandemic response, and schools are invited to explore the mathematics of fair division, which has so many applications in designing economic and social policies.

The IDM website is the main hub for the International Day of Mathematics.

It hosts information material to be used by press and organizers (including logos and flyers in different languages) as well as proposals for activities related to the theme for everyone interested in hosting an event. All the official material provided through the website is under an open license, which means it can be freely shared, translated, and adapted.



The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is headquartered in Paris. As the United Nations’ “House of Peace,” UNESCO serves to develop mutual understanding and the strengthening of bonds among nations through international cooperation in education, the sciences, culture and communication. More information
At the 40th session of its General Conference, UNESCO proclaimed 14 March of every year International Day of Mathematics. More information
The International Mathematical Union (IMU) is an international non-governmental and non-profit scientific organization, with the purpose of promoting international cooperation in mathematics.
IDM is communicated and supported by the IDM website, which is hosted by IMAGINARY, a non-profit organization dedicated to communication about modern mathematics.

The Klaus Tschira Foundation (which supports natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science in Germany) sponsor of the IDM website and communication.
The Simons Foundation sponsor of the special IDM celebrations in Africa.
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO sponsor of the 2021 IDM Poster Challenge.

Contacts for further information:

Helge Holden, Secretary General of the International Mathematical Union, sends e-mail)
Christiane Rousseau, Chair of the IDM Governing Board, sends e-mail), +1 514 9156081
Andreas Matt, Managing Director of IMAGINARY and of the IDM website, sends e-mail), +49 151 51836352
The International Mathematical Union, Hausvogteiplatz 11A, D-10117 Berlin, Germany, sends e-mail)

The logo and all pictures below can be used freely for articles about the International Day of Mathematics. Please find high-resolution versions via the “Download Link”. The pictures are from locally organized events (exhibitions, workshops, festivals) celebrating mathematics.
Logo of the International Day of Mathematics
Press Kit page with images and press releases

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