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Uni.lu “Simplicity of Complexity” showcased at Dubai World Expo

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Published on Thursday, 16 December 2021

The University of Luxembourg’s project “the simplicity of complexity », initiated by the University’s Department of Mathematics, was featured at the Luxembourg’s Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo, from 12 to 17 December 2021.

This event was organised within the Knowledge & Learning Week, as part of the many activities and events planned at the Luxembourg Pavilion from 1 October 2021 to 25 March 2022.

Visitors from all over the world were invited to experience “mathematical complexity” in a game-driven universe, by playing a series of fun and engaging games, puzzles and activities.

The “simplicity of complexity” experience encompasses two types of activities. The “Involution and Revolution” games are board games created by Bruno Teheux and Hugo Parlier. The Quadratis games, created by Hugo Parlier together with colleagues from Switzerland (see quadratis.app), are a type of slider puzzle to be played on a phone or a tablet.

The whole experience was designed by Prof. Hugo Parlier and Dr. Bruno Teheux from the Department of Mathematics of the University of Luxembourg and is an invitation to explore the nature of mathematical research. It also built on the recently inaugurated Exploratis station at the Science Center in Differdange.

Students and faculty members of the Science Department of Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi contributed to mediate the activities.

The games workshops were very successful and visitors of all ages were queuing up for a try. The World Expo news TV network approached Prof. Hugo Parlier for a live interview at the TV studios.

Asked why the workshops attracted such a huge audience, Prof. Parlier admitted he was himself surprised by this unanimous enthusiasm.

“Usually I work with 20-year old students and now I have 5-year old [children] grabbing my leg and saying “I want to play more games!””, Prof. Parlier told the interviewers.

Prof. Hugo Parlier demonstrated, live on TV, the two mathematical activities and showed how scientific knowledge is applied to games and fun activities, describing them as “brain-teasers for all ages”.

“Math is really all about creativity…. Math is more of an art than a science… This is what we really try to highlight, and the gaming experience is really important because when you play a game, just play a game for fun but at the same time you are learning and training your brain, and you are perceiving math in a different light…”, Prof. Parlier emphasised.

Watch the video (the interview with Prof. Hugo Parlier starts at 42:25)

More information on “The simplicity of Complexity” project presentation at the 2020 Dubai World Expo