About the International Day of Mathematics

The International Day of Mathematics (IDM) is a worldwide celebration. Each year on March 14 all countries will be invited to participate through activities for both students and the general public in schools, museums, libraries and other spaces.

March 14 was chosen as the date for the IDM because it was already celebrated in many countries as Pi Day, based on the fact that some countries write it as 3/14 and the mathematical constant Pi is approximately 3.14.

The International Day of Mathematics project is led by the International Mathematical Union with the support of numerous international and regional organizations from all over the world. It was proclamated by UNESCO on the 40th session of the General Conference, November 26, 2019. The first celebration was held on March 14, 2020.

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Goals of the IDM

The International Day of Mathematics is the opportunity the explain and celebrate the essential role that mathematics and mathematics education play in breakthroughs in science and technology, improving the quality of life, empowering women and girls, and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda (SDG1-17) of the United Nations.

The major goals of an International Day of Mathematics, with expected benefits for students, for teachers, for women and girls and for society at large are to:

  1. Improve understanding among the general public, decision makers and in schools, of the importance of mathematics in education;
  2. Contribute to capacity building in mathematical and scientific education, with special focus on girls and children from developing countries (SDG4);
  3. Achieve gender equality and empower women and girls in mathematics (SDG5);
  4. Improve understanding among the general public, with decision makers and in schools of the importance of mathematics as a tool for developments which lead to more prosperous economy circumstances (SDG9);
  5. Emphasize the importance of basic research in mathematical sciences as the seed to breakthroughs in technology and the management of society (SDG8);
  6. Highlight the role of mathematics in the organization of modern society, including economic, financial, health and transport systems, telecommunications in the quest for human well-being, etc. (SDG3);
  7. Raise awareness of the role of mathematics in fighting disasters, epidemics, emerging diseases, invasive species (SDG11);
  8. Highlight the role of mathematics in moving to a circular economy of sustainability compatible with preservation of biodiversity (SDG14 and 15);
  9. Equip the general public and young people with tools for understanding the planetary challenges and the capacity to respond as knowledgeable citizens;
  10. Increase international networking and collaborations in public awareness of mathematics;
  11. Increase the access to information, providing a simple way to give citizens a choice in all aspects of their daily life.

A new theme every year

Every year we'll announce a new theme to flavor the celebration, spark creativity and bring light to connections between mathematics and all sorts of fields, concepts and ideas.

The theme for 2020 was Mathematics is Everywhere

  • Mathematics help plan and manage economic and social systems enabling the move towards a sustainable use of resources.
  • We travel the world guided by precise mathematical calculations based on the position of the sun, stars and GPS satellites.
  • We explore the inside of the human body through CT scans and MRI by building images out of numerical data through mathematical algorithms.
  • We discover how human thought works by building AI software that can learn and make decisions through mathematic models.
  • We photographed a black hole and continue exploring the edges of the universe with mathematics.

Support for the International Day of Mathematics

The International Day of Mathematics (IDM) is supported by the following international and regional organizations: