Celebration of Mind 2019 Recap

In legacy of the spirit of Martin Gardners work we continue to hold Celebrations of Mind (CoM for short). Members of our community and many other enthusiasts worldwide have joined to share their joy and wonder of mathematics, magic, puzzles, science and/or literature. The majority of the events took place around the 21st of October, Martin’s birthday (he’d be 105 this year) as has been customary since Martin Gardner’s passing in 2010.

Here you find a recap of some of the events that we registered in 2019. CoM were hosted on six continents, with a majority of the events being held in the United States of America and Europe. If you held a Celebration and would like to share a description of what you did and who with, pictures, or things you did please let us know via support@g4gfoundation.org

Celebration of Mind at the MSRI 

Host: Rick Sommer, Stan Isaacs

Location: Stanford, CA, USA

Venue: MSRI, CEMEX Auditorium

Stanford hosted 2 events, one in the afternoon for younger children, elementary and middle school and an evening show more geared for high schoolers. The MSRI received multiple children and young adults offering them multiple activities.

In the evening, presented by the Stanford Continuing Studies Program, the CoM was held on October 19, at 19:30 in the CEMEX Auditorium of the GSB Knight Management Center. It gathered invited key speakers from the Gathering 4 Gardner Community of Martin Gardner’s areas of interest namely arts, Alexa Meade, magic, Mark Mitton, Mathematics, Tadashi Tokieda, as well as an honour appearance of Gardner’s Son Jim Gardner.

Celebration of Mind in Paris

Host: Piere Berloquinn

Location: 3 rue d’Aligre, Paris, France

Venue: Commune Libre d’Aligre


The Kafemath association has been honoring the memory of Martin Gardner for several years each October 21, the time of an evening to pay a joyful and jubilant tribute to an extraordinary character! There were 6 speakers, mathematicians and magicians, 10 minutes each. Plus time for discussions, before a meal was shared.

You can find multiple resources such as some interesting papers presented during the CoM at the Kafemath webpage (in french).

Celebration of Mind at the Magic Castle

Host: Tanya Thomson, Jordan Gold Simon Coronel

LocationLos Angeles, Ca, USA

Venue: The Magic Castle

“Jordan and Simon did the lion’s share of the work as members of the MC and what a night it was! We can’t take photos inside the castle so Thanks to all who came. It was inspiring to hear the speakers and wonderful to connect with friends and meet some new ones! (A fun highlight was meeting and talking with Jeff Probst, host of survivor, and getting to tell him how pivotal his show was for me when I was a teacher and lead school canoe trips as I would run a Survivors Day based in math and puzzles in the outdoors for my students).”

– Tanya Thomson

Butler University Celebration of Mind 

Host: Jeremiah Farrell, Steve Bloom

Location: Indianapolis, IA

Venue: Butler University

On October 22nd at Butler University had their annual celebration to honor Martin Gardner. Nearly 50 people attended the display of puzzles and games inspired by Martin Gardner. The top photo shows the hosts, the bottom photo shows two students playing “The Martin Game”. You can download the instructions in the link below.

Relevant Links:

MathsJam Celebrations of Mind

Host: Multiple

Location: Worldwide

Venue: Pubs around the globe

There were multiple MathsJams all over the world which combined their monthly meeting and had it as Celebration of Mind. Additional this year the October theme was Martin Gardner’s work including an internal shout-out.

To find out more about MathsJams you can find more information on the MathsJam webpage.


On Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019, from 6 pm til 9 pm at the bar La Rana Dorada in Condado del Rey, Panamanians commemorated Martin Gardner’s birth month with the first Celebration of Mind in Panama. This event took place within MathsJam #7 in Panama, which seeks to unite math enthusiasts to tickle their brains by solving fun math problems and by spending some quality time with like-minded individuals. Those who attended the Celebration of Mind were entertained with puzzles, games, magic and mathematics inspired by Martin Gardner.

MathsJam CoM Panama

Host: Jeanette Shakalli

Location: Panama City, Panama

Venue: Bar La Rana Dorada in Condado del Rey

Magic and Puzzle Night

Host: Colm Mulcahy

Location: Atlanta, GA

Venue: Private Location

“We were fortunate to have Christophe Fouquet, Joe M Turner, John Miller and Matt Baker wow us with their astounding magic chops!”

Colm Mulcahy

Noite de Magia Com Calma – Portugal

Host:  Adrien Lochon and Tiago Hirth

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Venue: Com Calma cultural association

On October 19, we held our CoM as part of a regular magic night organized by Adrien Lochon, Tiago Hirth. For this specific night were honoured to receive Rogério Martins, maths communicator famous for his award winning TV series Isto é Matemática. We performed into the night and then fell into discussion and exchange of tricks, puzzles, riddles etc. with a general public that mostly comes for the magic shows, but was eager to learn and find out more about both Martin Gardner and what he did. Unfortunately the lighting of the space doesn’t reflect the glorious attendance of 50 people we had crammed, but top to bottom you can see the hosts, Rogério and the audience.

Math at the Market


Host: Buckeye Aha! Math Moments

Location: Columbus, OH 43214, United States

Venue: Clintonville Farmer’s Market


“On October 19 OSU joined Celebration of Mind for the first time ever. […] This year, the Department of Mathematics, through the outreach initiative, participated in this great Celebration. […] So we went to Clintonville Farmer ‘s Market and “sold” math between apples and tamales, for free! What a better way of celebrating Gardner than bringing math to all people and mix it up with everyday life, like he did? […]”

See the full text at The Ohio State University’s blog post

CoM Buenos Aires

Host:  Rodolfo Kurchan

Location: Buenos Aires

Venue: Centro Cultural de la Ciencia

The event was held on October 12, and there were 12 talks and 10 different activities including Chess, Origami, Rubik cubes, Scrabble, Magic and Mathematical Games. Please let me know if you need more information.

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