Poetry is about as ancient as mathematics in human culture. Its language can be whimsical, somber, joyful, beautiful, concise, thought-provoking, and inspirational. We invite you to think and write about mathematics in this unique form of expression. Poems can be limericks, sonnets, haiku, acrostic, square stanzas (such as the one below by JoAnne Growney in which the number of syllables per line equals the number of lines), based on the Fibonacci sequence (with the number of syllables per line based on the sequence), or other type. Imagine and express!
Announcing the 2023 Math Poetry Winners!
infinity, River Oxenreider, The Ohio State University, college student entry
Sum of Us, Angela Zhou, International Academy East, high school student entry
Forest of Numbers, Miranda Jedlinski, Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory for the Arts, middle school student entry
2023 Math Poetry Contest Honorable Mentions
- College Entrants
- Rye Ledford, University of Missouri - Kansas City
- Ramie Thompson, Wofford College
- Lena Zhang, The Ohio State University
- High School Entrants
- Melanie Acosta, Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory for the Arts
- Kara Lee, Stanford Online High School
- Marina Matson, Brookfield Academy
- Heer Patel, Maggie L Walker Governors’ School
- Gabrielle Tong, Milpitas High School
- Middle School Entrants
- Derek Aoki, Bullis Charter School
- Jayce Brown, Edmonds Heights
- Gregory Estrin, Lang Ranch Elementary
Order the 2023 Math Poetry poster for your classroom today.
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
See the winners of the 2020 AMS Math Poetry Contest (in Colorado) and a video of them reading their poems at the 2020 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Denver, winners of the 2019 AMS Math Poetry Contest (in Maryland), and math and poetry resources below the poster image.
2020 AMS Math Poetry Contest
In fall 2019 the AMS conducted a Math Poetry Contest contest for Colorado middle school, high school, and undergraduate students in connection with the 2020 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Denver. The winners will read their poems during Mathemati-Con, the day of free events open to the public, Saturday, January 18.
The three winning poems in the 2020 AMS Math Poetry Contest are:
- "Outlier," by Sabrina Little, Mackintosh Academy, Boulder
- "The Number Won," by Austen Mazenko, Cherry Creek High School
- "x2 + y2 = 1(ife)," by Chenyu Lin, Colorado Christian University
2019 AMS Math Poetry Contest
The three winning poems in the 2019 AMS Math Poetry Contest are:
- "Math is Me," by Brooke C. Johnston, Notre Dame Preparatory School,
- "A Love Letter to My X," by Tina Xia, Walt Whitman High School, and
- "Coalition," by Kelin Torres-Rodas, Prince George's Community College.
Congratulations to all three!
Resources for exploring math and poetry:
- Intersections--Poetry with Mathematics blog:
- Each issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics or The Mathematical Intelligencer
- S. Buchanan, Poetry and Mathematics, J.B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, 1962.
- E. Robson & J. Wimp (eds.), Against Infinity: an Anthology of Contemporary Mathematical Poetry, Primary Press, Parker Ford, PA, 1979.
- Proceedings from the annual Bridges conference (1998-)
- J. Growney (ed.), Numbers and Faces, HMN, 2001.
- S. Glaz & J. Growney (eds.), Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2008.
- Math poetry-focused issue of Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, 2014
- "Maths and poetry: Beauty is the link," Peter Lynch, The Irish Times, October 17, 2019.
- This talk on Mathematical Poetry by Professor and Contest Judge Larry Lesser was recorded for the National Museum of Mathematics in November 2021.