Greater global awareness of mathematical sciences are vital to addressing challenges in areas such as artificial intelligence, climate change, energy and sustainable development, and to improving the quality of life in both the developed and the developing worlds. UNESCO’s 40th General Conference proclaimed 14 March of every year International Day of Mathematics in November 2019 (40C/ Resolution 30).
In many countries, 14 March (3/14) is already celebrated as Pi Day because π, one of the world’s most widely-known mathematical constants can be rounded to 3.14.
The International Day of Mathematics aims to showcase the fundamental role played by the mathematical sciences in the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in reinforcing the two UNESCO priorities: Africa and Gender Equality. The Day invites us to celebrate the joy to be found in mathematics as well as the plethora of vocations it offers to girls and boys, through festive and diverse activities taking place around the world.
UNESCO is committed on a daily basis to facilitate access to mathematics education and research in developing countries through its educational programmes, but also through its regional centres dedicated to mathematics in Hanoi(link is external) (Viet Nam) and Accra(link is external) (Ghana), its chairs in Benin, Nigeria and Palestine, and the programmes of the International Centre for Pure and Applied Mathematics(link is external) (Nice, France) in Asia, Africa and the Americas.
« Some countries have recently declared mathematics to be “in crisis”, being rejected by students who consider the subject to be boring. This Day is all about remembering what mathematics is for, and in particular how it can be the basis of innovation for sustainable development. We must recognize that mathematics, even in its most theoretical aspects, really concerns all of us. »»
— Audrey Azoulay, Director General, Message on the occasion of the International Day of Mathematics 2020