About Maths Craft
Maths Craft Australia is currently run by Julia Collins (AMSI) and Katherine Seaton (La Trobe University), together with the help of local organisers in the places we run events. It is entirely a volunteer initiative, organised during our evenings and weekends, and relies on enthusiastic and passionate people (not to mention funding donations!) to make it happen.
Maths Craft runs on the principle that mathematicians and crafters have a lot to learn from each other, and, moreover, that it impossible to be a crafter without being an innate mathematician. We develop activities and talks which will hopefully inspire our audiences to experiment with new ideas at home, to explore patterns and structures and to see both mathematics and craft in a new light.
Maths Craft began in September 2016 with the Maths Craft Festival in Auckland, New Zealand. It was the brainchild of Dr Julia Collins (Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute) and Dr Jeanette McLeod (University of Canterbury/Te Pūnaha Matatini) who were inspired to start the festival after a serendipitous encounter while Julia was on holiday in Christchurch. The festival attracted 2000 visitors over the weekend, making it one of the largest mathematics outreach events to take place in New Zealand. Maths Craft NZ, under the team of Jeanette, Phil Wilson, Nicolette Rattenbury and Sarah Mack, has gone on to tour several cities in New Zealand, bringing maths craft to thousands of people.
In December 2016 Julia moved to Melbourne and founded Maths Craft Australia. Dr Katherine Seaton joined the organising team in August 2017, bringing with her a wealth of experience in mathematical crafts and outreach.
Julia has a PhD in 4-dimensional knot theory from the University of Edinburgh, where she also worked for five years as the Mathematics Engagement Officer, lecturing and doing mathematics outreach. In 2016 she moved to Melbourne to take up a post working on the CHOOSEMATHS project at the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. In her spare time, she is usually to be found with her trusty sheep Haggis, knitting or making origami in one of the wonderful cafes around Melbourne.
Katherine recalls as a child learning knitting from her Granny, crochet in the Brownies and origami from Robert Harbin’s black and white TV programmes. She loves taking maths to the public as well as to her students at La Trobe University where she is an Associate Professor and once organised a maths-bombing inspired by yarn-bombing. She has given talks with titles such as The Mathematics of Pokemon Go and Rainbow Loom Maths and she has published articles in mathematical physics, mathematics education and mathematics and the arts, and most recently, jointly wrote a knitting pattern incorporating the Sierpinski triangle.