The Institute for Algebra contributes to the JKU summer program for children.
Is there a chance to motivate children to think about math problems during their summer vacation? According to our experience during the science holidays, the chances are not too bad. In the workshops we contribute to the program of the JKU Science Holidays 2022, we explain the basics of graph theory, an important area of discrete mathematics with diverse applications such as computer networks or chemical molecules or models of social interactions. Although graphs are abstract objects, they can be easily visualized with wire and small wooden perls. Using these models, participants of the workshop explore the various structures and properties of graphs. This way, they spend several hours doing exciting mathematics without ever adding or multiplying any numbers, and maybe without even realizing that what they do is mathematics.
We would like to thank our undergraduate volunteers who serve as instructors of the workshops and spread their excitement for the subject to the next generation. Thanks to their help, we are able to offer the graph theory workshop altogether 24 times. We are very much looking forward to welcoming some of the participants in a few years as regular mathematics students at JKU.