Simon has been asked to help compiling the program for the next MathsJam!
An amazing visit to the Red Star Line Museum this weekend! It’s a museum telling the moving story of the exodus from Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Red Star Line was a private passenger liner company that brought over 2 million Europeans to America. Simon enjoyed following the story of a 9 year old girl Basia Cohen who fled the violence and hunger in Ukraine in 1919 (well, maybe it was not the story that actually triggered his interest but the exciting quest involving looking for a suitcase in every hall of the museum and completing the tasks hidden inside the suitcase).
Simon isn’t fond of magic or fantasy. Plus, he is not fond of long walks in the woods. Both “not fond of” are understatements. What was I counting on when I dragged him to the 2 kilometer long light installation in a forest close to Antwerp? I expected that seeing multiple fountains with photons trapped in water would make up for all the magic, scary music and the long walk. And it did!
What a blissful atmosphere at Maths Jam Antwerp yesterday, full of respect, encouragement and acceptance. It’s an international monthly meet-up taking place every second to last Tuesday of the month, simultaneously at many locations in the world, three hours of maths fun! This was Simon’s first time. He solved two difficult geometry problems and showed some of his current work to the math enthusiasts who attended. Was hopping and giggling all the way home.
Inspired by a Numberphile video. It was Simon’s idea to record this on the go, it’s fun to watch him talk about math while making his way through the vibrant city center. I guess this video makes a good tribute to Antwerp that has given Simon the freedom to pursue his passion.
Simon told me about two butterflies trying to mate: “One is attracted to the other one and the other one is repelled from it!” He added that he’d already built a similar simulation before.
Visited the reopened museum of contemporary art in Antwerpen MuHKA this afternoon. Simon enjoyed a few graphical pieces, especially when allowed to take photos of them with my mobile.
Three pictures taken by Simon:
Definitions of “the Truth”:
In the children’s “Salon”, we loved the survival-on-the-Moon game: you had to answer the questions about which items would help you survive on the Moon.
An unexpected encounter in the Dutch Bergen op Zoom. Simon was so shy he went hiding nearly the whole time.
Singing Sinterklaas songs with his sister Neva
Neva asked Simon to read the letter Sinterklaas left her. It was written in difficult cursive, I was surprised Simon could read it well.
Waiting for Sinterklaas on the Grote Markt square in Antwerp on Sunday
Mixing spices and making the traditional pepernootjes (spicy cookies that resemble nuts)
Yesterday at Simon’s first session by the Digisnacks, a course offered by the Antwerp University’s computer science faculty. The session was about computer history, what’s inside the computer and binary language.