Math for the Public at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU):

  • School project to build and program robots so that they can explore a labyrinth (see artikel in the DTU newspaper 6/2009 (in Danish))
    Details and many pictures can be found at a detailed web page about the robot school project
  • Public science talks about nonlinear dynamics, e.g. "The Double Pendulum" for school classes.
  • Matematicum - The Mathematical Inspiratorium at DTU
    Markvorsen, Steen; Henriksen, Christian; Thomsen, Søren Steffen, Schmidt, Karsten; Starke, Jens; Knudsen, Lars Ramkilde
    This project is concerned with the theme of unfolding mathematical concepts and results for students and other mathematically curious visitors to Matematicum via hands-on experiments and stories. Each story and activity is ideally centered around a well-defined mathematical crux, which is then to be uncovered, unfolded, and applied to properly understand a given, otherwise non-obvious - or maybe even mysterious - phenomenon. For example: How can two circular rotations combine to give the linear motion of a pump? What are the rotors actually doing in the Enigma encryption machine? Why and how does a (good) boomerang return? How do we make a swarm of intercommunicating robots collaborate to solve a given task? How do the ants find or construct their shortest pathways? Which roofs pick up the most solar energy throughout the year? Concerning content and development of concept: The Matematicum at the Department of Mathematics is a room which has been arranged to receive up to 15 visitors at a time. A boomerang "story" and a robot swarming "story" have been implemented and tested. A 3D printer and 3D scanner have been installed. The printer is in full operation and supplies concrete models of geometric shape and function such as minimal surfaces and ingenious pumps. A fume cupboard has been installed for proper and safe post-processing of the 3D-printed objects. An original three-rotor German military Enigma machine has been purchased. It is the essential central "object" for great "stories" and activities in the Matematicum concerning the history and development of modern cryptology. The Matematicum was officially opened at a reception at DTU Mathematics on 6th March, 2008.
  • Talk at Alumni Meeting (Gensysnsdag) at August 21, 2009 of the Technical University of Denmark (see abstract)


Math for the Public at the University of Rostock:

  • Talk at "Tag der Mathematik",
    "Roboter und Algorithmische Mathematik - mit Lego Mindstorms Roboter",
    9. Juni 2018
  • Talk and hands-on experiments at Long Night of Science (Die lange Nacht der Wissenschaften) in Rostock,
    27. April 2018 und 25. April 2019
    a) Schauvorlesung: "Die Flugbahn eines Bumerangs und Numerische Mathematik"
    Am Beispiel der Flugbahn eines Bumerangs wird anschaulich erklärt, wie natur- und ingenieurwissenschaftliche Probleme mathematisch mit Differentialgleichungen beschrieben und deren Lösungen numerisch auf Computern berechnet werden können. Mit praktischer Bauanleitung und Wurf-Experimenten.
    b) Experimentierstraße: "Basteln und Werfen eines Bumerangs - Bastel Deinen eigenen Bumerang in 10 Minuten!", jointly with Anna Dittus
    In wenigen Schritten kann mit einfachen Mitteln ein kreuzförmiger Bumerang aus Balsaholz unter Anleitung gebastelt werden. Das notwendige Bastelmaterial steht kostenfrei zu Verfügung. Die Bastel- und Wurfanleitung kann in Papierform zusammen mit dem Bumerang mitgenommen werden.


  • Talk and hands-on experiments at Long Night of Science (Die lange Nacht der Wissenschaften) in Rostock,
    23. April 2020
    a) Schauvorlesung: "Outbreak! Epidemien, Schneeballsysteme und Kettenbriefe", jointly with Konstantinos Spiliotis
    Wie kann man Epidemien stoppen, Krankheiten ausrotten und Betrugsmaschen von Schneeballsystemen entlarven? Mathematische Modelle und Analysen im Einsatz.
    b) Experimentierstraße: "Klimawandel und andere Katastrophen: Basteln einer Katastrophenmaschine", jointly with Anna Dittus
    Die Katastrophenmaschine von Zeeman veranschaulicht den bei Katastrophen typischen "tipping point" oder "point of no return". Vor Ort kann dies anschaulich selbst ausprobiert werden. Auf Wunsch kann eine Katastrophenmaschine mit einfachen Mitteln aus Pappe und Gummibändern unter Anleitung selbst gebastelt werden.


Jens Starke - last modified February 23, 2020