What is a Maths Carnival?

January 30th, 2010 | Categories: Carnival of Math, general math | Tags:

There are two carnivals in the mathematics blogging world: The Carnival of Maths (CoM) and Math Teachers at Play (MTAP), which are basically two different facets of the same thing — but exactly what are they?

At the most basic level, a maths carnival is just a set of links to recent blog articles about mathematics, but that’s selling the whole idea short somewhat.  I’ve always liked to think that the two carnivals are the shop-front of the mathematics blogging world — a reason for us all to get together and celebrate everything that we are proud of in our little corner of the web.  Other people compare a blog carnival to a magazine’s table of contents, which can direct you to a wide variety of articles. The articles are written by different people, but they are all tied together by the theme/focus/area-of-interest that defines the magazine.

The best way of demonstrating what the carnivals are all about is to show you some examples, so here are the two most recent editions (I’ll try to keep this updated):

Let’s look at how the carnivals work in more detail.

Say you have just written a recent mathematical blog post which you are rather proud of.  Obviously you’d like as many people as possible to read your article, so you choose one of the two carnivals and submit it using one of the two forms below:

The carnivial host will receive your submission and, if they think it is suitable, will include it in their carnival.  You can then sit back and watch the extra traffic roll in.

Here are some frequently asked questions about both carnivals.

When are the carnivals published?

The Carnival of Maths usually gets published on the first Friday of the month and Math Teachers at Play gets published on the third Friday.

I would like to host a carnival at my blog.  What should I do?

Go to the relevant carnival home page and click on ‘Future Hosts’.  This will show you who is scheduled to host for the next few months.  Find an empty slot that suits you, contact me for the CoM or Denise for MTAP, and we’ll take it from there.

Who does the admin for the Carnivals?

At the moment, I am doing the admin for the Carnival of Math, and Denise of Let’s Play Math is looking after Math Teachers at Play.  So, if you have any questions, then we are your first port of call.

I’ve found a cool maths article that someone else has written.  Can I submit it to the carnivals?

Yes, but in an ideal world it will be a recent post and should have never been submitted to one of the carnivals before. The best way to be sure of this, if the post is not your own, is to send in only something published since the last edition of the carnival.

Can I submit an article to both carnivals?

We’d rather you didn’t — at least, not the *same* article. We don’t want to bore the audience.

Who decides what gets included in a carnival and what doesn’t.

The carnival hosts.  The carnival is just a guest on the host’s blog, and so what each host writes is entirely up to him or her.  In general, most carnival hosts will include almost everything that is submitted to them and a bit more besides.  However, if they choose NOT to link to something, then so be it.

The blog carnival server has been known to lose submissions on occasion. I have not heard of trouble with the maths carnivals, but the (much larger) Carnival of Education used to have problems quite often. If you are sure that your article met the carnival guidelines, but the host did not include it, then perhaps it simply got lost. Feel free to resubmit your post for the next edition.

Do I have to be a math teacher to submit an article to Math Teachers at Play?

No.  As long as the mathematics is below college-level, then you are good to go

Will the Carnival of Math take articles on basic math?

Yes — everything from kindergaten to cutting edge research is fair game for the Carnival of Math.  Basic mathematics can be submitted to either carnival, but advanced maths should generally be submitted only to the Carnival of Math.

Do you accept articles from subjects such as computer science or physics?

As long as there is a reasonable amount of maths content, then yes.

Is there anything else I need to do, besides submitting my article?

No, there is nothing else you have to do. When the carnival is published, however, you may want to post a link to it on your blog. The carnival host will appreciate your support, and your readers will enjoy a chance to browse what other math bloggers have written.

Does the carnival have a twitter feed?

Yes, @Carnivalofmath

  1. February 1st, 2010 at 20:16
    Reply | Quote | #1

    >As long as the mathematics is below college-level, then you are good to go.

    I’d say even college level is welcome on MTAP, as long as it’s math that most of us understand, like basic calculus. Or stuff that people usually don’t see until college, but would understand sooner, like number theory, basic proofs, etc. I included Brent’s Proof of Pi’s irrationality series on the previous MTAP, even though it’s pretty high level, because it’s something I think would intrigue lots of folks.

  2. February 1st, 2010 at 20:17
    Reply | Quote | #2

    P.S. Thanks for a great post on the carnivals!