Gecko design wins annual Math Awareness Month T-shirt contest

For more than 25 years, the Department of Mathematics has been engaged in outreach and building solid partnerships with local teachers and schools, such as the annual T-shirt design contest held at Ithaca High School in honor of April's Math Awareness Month. The students submit designs related to math; the winning design is printed on a T-shirt that the mathematics department distributes to faculty, students and others who participate in outreach activities throughout the year. At the high school, for a week every year in April, there is a math question during the morning announcements. Throughout the day, students submit their answers, and from the correct ones a winner is randomly chosen and given a Math Awareness Month T-shirt.

For the 2017 T-shirt contest, approximately 60 entries were submitted. The high school math department voted for its favorites, from which six finalists were chosen. Then the high school math faculty re-voted on the final six designs, and their votes, combined with votes from Cornell mathematics faculty, staff and graduate students, determined the winning design. 

This year’s winner is 10th grader Olivia Lowman, who created a clever image that combines geometry and technology, reflecting the fact that she had just finished a fractals and tessellations project in her GeoTech course at the high school.

“I love to doodle and really enjoyed the chance to bring math into the organic shape of my gecko,” Lowman said. Her interests include photography and midwifery; she hopes someday to combine the two and “document the miracle of new life” through photographs.

This article also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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