Mathematical workshops and monologues will star BCAM Naukas 2024

  • BCAM and the Chair of Scientific Culture at the University of the Basque Country have organized a program of activities for both morning and afternoon of March 14th.


On March 14th, International Day of Mathematics, the fifth edition of BCAM Naukas will be held at the Bizkaia Aretoa of the UPV/EHU.

Once again, BCAM and the Chair of Scientific Culture of the University of the Basque Country have prepared a program of workshops and mathematical monologues.

On one hand, various workshops will be conducted in the morning for Primary and Secondary students.
Fifth and sixth-grade students will learn statistics and probability through the workshop "A Day at the Races" and will also have the opportunity to participate in the workshop "Graphs, Gotta Catch 'Em All."

Meanwhile, first and second-year Compulsory Secondary Education students will tackle the Math Mystery Box escape room by solving mathematical operations, learn to solve the Rubik's Cube, engage in origami, and play with oversized pieces in the Giant Games workshop.

Lastly, third and fourth-year ESO students will explore the workings of the Möbius strip and learn in the workshop "A vueltas con el Oloide" how a mathematical characteristic like rotation can simplify things in everyday life.

In the afternoon, starting at 18:30, it will be time for mathematical monologues that, in a brief and entertaining manner, will delve into different mathematical concepts. For example, Raquel Villacampa, a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Zaragoza, will attempt to answer from a mathematical perspective whether Size Matters... or not, and Ikerbasque researcher Sara Barja will discuss the mathematical importance of letters and symbols in the monologue "Soy de Letras".

Admission to the monologues will be free until full capacity is reached.
However, they can also be watched via streaming through the EHUtb channel.
For the morning session, educational centers must register by sending a message to the address



Mathematical Workshops 9:30-13:30

Workshops for 5th and 6th Grade Students

• A Day at the Races - José Ángel Murcia Carrión (Complutense University of Madrid) - Etxepare Room

This activity will simulate races of very capricious animals using dice, represented on a spreadsheet, to reflect on probability and statistics. Subsequently, the spreadsheet tools themselves will be used to recreate hundreds of races without the need to roll the dice.

• Graphs, Gotta Catch 'Em All - Andrea Kali Martínez - Elhuyar Room

With the help of Pokémon, this workshop will demonstrate the different properties of graphs and how they help us learn more about the world around us. Workshops for 1st and 2nd Grade Secondary Students

• Math Mystery Box - Nerea Casas Bernas / Egoitz Etxeandia Romero (Lauaxeta Ikastola) - Laboa Room

Math Mystery Box is an escape room packed into a box where mathematical puzzles must be solved. Gradually, as challenges are solved as a team, new mysteries will be revealed. You will have to open locks, assemble puzzles... Everything is prepared to enjoy 50 minutes of fun mathematics.

• Learning to Solve the Rubik's Cube - Rubén López de Juan (UPV/EHU) - Oteiza Room

This workshop will provide an introduction to the classic and simple method of solving the Rubik's Cube, a toy with many interesting mathematical properties, through video support and tutorials printed on paper. Subsequently, there will be a small speed demonstration carried out by experienced competitors.

• Origami - José Ignacio Royo (UPV/EHU) -

Axular Room Origami, the ancient art of paper folding, not only uses mathematics for the design of figures but is also a valuable vehicle for practicing and transmitting them. In this workshop, in addition to having fun building origami figures, concepts and theorems will be understood by folding paper.

• Giant Games - Pedro Alegría and Raúl Ibáñez (UPV/EHU) - Chillida Room

Games are an important part of our culture and society, and from the youngest to the oldest, everyone enjoys games. In particular, so-called "puzzle games" are a playful tool because they entertain and engage people who play with them, but they are also an educational tool. Puzzle games help develop our thinking ability and bring us, without being aware of it, closer to mathematics, problem-solving, and the scientific method.

In this workshop, giant puzzle games will be used. From a human-sized soma cube to a Connect Four with pieces larger than a hand, passing through the following games in their extra-large version: Katamino, Mastermind, Pilos, Tantrix, Nine Men's Morris, Traffic Jam, Towers of Hanoi, Instant Insanity, etc.

Workshops for 3rd and 4th Grade Secondary Students

• La descarada banda de Möbius - Juan Miguel Ribera Puchades (University of the Balearic Islands) - Arriaga Room

This workshop will explore a unique surface with only one side, revealing its non-orientable nature and challenging concepts of "up" and "down." We will make modifications to the surface to design new surfaces and investigate them through surprising cuts. We will analyze its relevance in the STEAM world.

A vueltas con el Oloide - Lucía Rotger García (University of the Balearic Islands) - Baroja Room

A good idea from an extraordinary person can improve the world, as happens, for example, with the wheel. Until that moment, it was unthinkable to move heavy objects, lift them for construction purposes, or reach more distant places. The mathematical properties of objects are closely related to how we use them. The idea of this activity is to turn a mathematical property of an object, which is rotation, into an improvement of the world.



Mathematical Monologues

La música de los números primos. Francisco R. Villatoro Machuca (University of Malaga).

The Riemann Hypothesis is the most famous as-yet-unproven conjecture in all of mathematics. Its solution will be rewarded with a million dollars, something irrelevant to whoever proves it, as they would go down in the history of mathematics through the grand entrance. The number pi and prime numbers are the standout protagonists of this problem that has stumped all geniuses who have faced it. Although he is a physicist, Francis Villatoro holds a doctorate in Mathematics and is currently a professor at the University of Malaga. He conducts research in Computational Mathematics for wave studies. He disseminates from his blog "La Ciencia de la Mula Francis" and the podcast "Coffee Break: Señal y Ruido," collaborating with the SER Málaga radio station and the MUY Interesante magazine, among other media outlets.

El tamaño importa ... o no. Raquel Villacampa Gutiérrez (University of Zaragoza).

This talk will depart from two branches of mathematics: Geometry and Topology, respectively. From these two areas of knowledge, an attempt will be made to answer a single question: does size matter? Raquel Villacampa holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Zaragoza and specializes in Differential Geometry. She is dedicated to the dissemination and promotion of mathematics and women in science, participating in numerous activities of different formats: educational talks, workshops, interviews, podcasts... She currently works in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Zaragoza and is a member of the University Institute of Mathematics and Applications of the same university.

Demostraciones visuales en dimensiones superiores. Urtzi Buijs Martín (University of Malaga).

A visual demonstration does not require algebraic manipulations or complex calculations, only images that constitute the proof themselves. These images are usually two-dimensional because the pages of our books are. Some use pieces or figures in three-dimensional space, but... can we visualize higher dimensions? Can we demonstrate theorems visually in the fourth dimension? In this 4D vision talk, it will be demonstrated that this is possible. Mathematician and Associate Professor at the University of Malaga, Buijs Martín, researches in the area of Algebraic Topology. He recently published the book 'Lie models in Topology' awarded the Ferran Sunyer i Balaguer prize. Among other subjects, he teaches the Evolution of Mathematical Thought in the Master's in Mathematics. Whenever he can, he devotes time to the Archimedes Tube project, a channel where diverse mathematical content can be found, such as theorem demonstrations, history of mathematics, or mathemagic.

Viaje hacia la modelación de un Nanouniverso. Daniela Moreno Chaparro (BCAM).

Nanoparticles are tiny structures found at the nanometer scale and play a crucial role in various applications such as medicine and electronics. The talk will explain how they work from mathematical modeling. Starting from the nanometer scale and investigating how researchers use equations and simulations to understand the behavior of these particles, this talk will allow the interpretation of some physical phenomena that occur in nature at this small scale, such as the transport of viruses. It will also highlight how this research can have a positive impact on the improvement of existing technologies and the development of new innovations.

Moreno Chaparro is a PhD student at the Basque Center from applied Mathematics BCAM and at the University of the Basque Country UPV-EHU where he studies passive virus transport, modeling viruses as decorated nanoparticles. His academic background includes a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National University of Colombia in 2022. Her research focused on biological modeling (root growth in plants), mainly in geometric branching shapes, applying the FEM finite element method using a reaction-diffusion model. In 2021 she started her career as a research technician in the CFD-MS research group at BCAM, modeling and simulating passive virus transport.


Matemáticas, la flecha del tiempo y mentes artificiales y biológicas. Miguel Aguilera Lizarraga (BCAM).

Living systems operate far from thermodynamic equilibrium, giving rise to dynamic properties characterized by temporal asymmetries. That is, their operation yields a temporal order between past and future (known as the "arrow of time") related to the dissipation of entropy produced by the exchange of energy and matter with the environment. What is the relationship between these thermodynamic properties and the information processing capacity of living systems? This talk will analyze the implications of these ideas in neuroscience and artificial intelligence. For intelligent systems such as biological or artificial neural networks, effective information processing involves flexible architectures that integrate multiple sensory flows varying over time with internal and external events. Finally, these ideas will be related to problems in artificial intelligence such as autonomy, the alignment problem, or the agency of intelligent systems.

Aguilera Lizarraga is an Ikerbasque researcher at BCAM. His research lies at the intersection of complex systems, computational neuroscience, statistical physics, and cognitive science. His goal is to understand the emergence of adaptive and self-organized behaviors, as well as autonomous behavior and agency in living and artificial systems. To do this, he combines mathematical theory on complex networks, non-equilibrium physics, and information theory with computational models in neuroscience, robotics, and artificial life to address open problems about life and mind.

Soy de Letras. Sara Barja Martínez (CSIC, UPV/EHU, DIPC).

Often, we perceive mathematics as a field dominated by numbers, but in reality, it is a language enriched with symbols and letters that express deep concepts, relationships, and patterns of the universe. In this talk, we will explore how these elements intertwine to form the universal language of mathematics, facilitating not only the understanding of complex concepts but also revealing the inherent beauty of this discipline, exemplified in Euler's elegant identity.

Barja Martínez is an Ikerbasque researcher at the University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU. Her work aims to understand the relationships between structure and reactivity in electrocatalysis processes. With a PhD in Physics, she has developed her research career between Spain, the United States, and Germany. She currently coordinates an ERC-StG project that aims to produce H2 from seawater. To do this, she combines the study of catalysts using atomic-resolution microscopes and other methods under real operating conditions. Her career has been recognized with the Hypatia 2019 and Ikerbasque 2023 awards.