Presentation of the Math Department at the Zagreb University Fair 2005.

This year's presentation was a follow-up on the last year's theme of the Magic Land of Middle Math. The organizers were, as in the last 8 years,Franka M. Brückler and Mea Bombardelli. We presented the country


i.e. all of the extras on the stand were connected to the mathematical discipline topology. We kept the visual style of the Lord-of-the-Rings and the traditional blue and yellow colors. The persons working at the stand wore various items in order to represent LOTR characters: Frodo was wearing a Moebius-band ring with inscription on a chain arround his neck, then there were brooches for Sam (Lothlorien leaf), Gimli (axe), Aragorn (Narsil), Arwen (her pendant) and Galadriel (all of them can bee seen on the last years's page). One of the two bosses of the stand (F.M.B., the author of this page) was Sauron. And Gandalf had a robe and wizard's hat. The brooches (except the ring for Frodo) were made last year by our student Iva Barisic. Frodo's ring Sauron forged by herself :-) As Gandalf, as the special guest of our stand, acted professor Mirko Polonijo.
Besides, there was the traditional Land of Middle Math map on the wall and A2-versions were distributed as prizes for solving the problems presented at the stand. All versions of the map of the Land of Middle Math are © by Franka Miriam Brückler.

The mathematical magic tricks presented were of topological beckground: two persons linked together by ropes have try to part without removing the loops from their wrist (see the sequence of pictures with several typical - and wrong - attempts to a solution); how to tie a knot in a rope tied arround the wrists, without removing the loops from the wrists; move a ring (here: with a duck on it) from one loop to the other; the handcuff puzzle of how to reverse a T-shirt without disconnecting the hands; and others.

The tradition of presenting a prize game consisting of fun math problems was continued. There was a big variety in problems: except for recreational math problems on our blackboard, as problems were considered also solutions of the tricks and topological puzzles. Prizes were small chocolates and A4 and A2 versions of the map of the Land of Middle Math.

Of course, the main objective of the University fair - giving information about studying mathematics - was not forgotten. We had various informational posters about the Math Department in Zagreb, as well as leaflets about the Department and study programme. A detailed booklet about the admission procedure and the study programme could also be bought at the stand.