Math exhibit adds up for Israelis, Palestinians [pg. 4]

A new interactive exhibition devoted to mathematics is the fruit and symbol of successful Palestinian-Israeli cooperation. The exhibit, Meet Math, is to be inaugurated at Jerusalem's Bloomfield Science Museum Sunday at 5 p.m. A colorful and light exhibition, Meet Math, has a mix of intriguing, didactic and humorous elements. The interactive displays cover a variety of mathematical subjects, supplemented by graphic panels on the history of math and a wide variety of educational activities. Meet Math is a product of cooperation among the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem, La Citta della Scienza in Naples and Al-Quds University in eastern Jerusalem, and among Israeli, Palestinian and Italian mathematicians, designers, builders, curators and educators. Palestinians and Israelis have been working together on a pilot project toward the establishment of an Interactive Science Center at Al-Quds for some years, overcoming the obstacles created by the intifada and checkpoints. The exhibition will become the core of the new center at Al-Quds University at the end of this year. The ceremony Sunday will be attended by Prof. Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al-Quds University; European Union Ambassador Ramiro Cibrian-Uzal; Italian Ambassador Sandro De Bernardini; Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities president Prof. Menachem Yaari; Hebrew University president Prof. Menachem Megidor; Janet Aviad, vice president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies; Ruth Cheshin, president of the Jerusalem Foundation; and Bloomfield Museum director Maya Halevy. "We hope this effort will prove to be a step in showing how the universal language of mathematics can be translated into a shared language of political and moral values," said Nusseibeh. "This exhibition is the display window of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, which aims at working towards peace and for the needs of both civil societies," said Halevy. Prof. Peter Hillman, founder of the Bloomfield Museum, said that mathematics was chosen for the project because of its universality, the major contributions made by Muslims to its development and the need to enrich mathematics teaching. Hebrew University Prof. Ehud de Shalit, Abdallah Kamal of Al-Quds University and Prof. Luigi Pepe of the University of Ferrara served as academic consultants for Meet Math. The exhibition was created with the support of the European Commission, Regione Campania, UNESCO and the Jerusalem Foundation.