Bridges 2019 — gamepuzzles visit Austria

Bridges is an annual conference that celebrates the connections between math, art, architecture, music, poetry, culture, and education.

The conferences are held in various countries, and 2019 was Austria's turn to host it on the elegant campus of Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, July 17-21, 2019. A great slate of speakers presented talks on a mind-stretching variety of topics to do with math, geometry, artistry, innovations and research.

Kate presented a short paper on "The Surprising Symmetry Pairs of 24 Di-Oct Ochominoes Tiles", accompanied by PowerPoint illustrations of symmetrical pairs and beautiful solutions.

One of Kate's posters, Intarsia, was also on display and was donated to Dr. Kristof Fenyvesi of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland as a fundraiser for Hungarian students to be able to attend future Bridges events.

A fun event for attendees was a fashion show of mathematically inspired clothing and jewelry. Kate was one of about 30 models to shine on the long runway. Her fashion items were a necklace with Platonic solids, a Moebius ring, and a geometric bracelet, all designed by Daniela Bertol.

A small collection of our puzzles formed an interactive play area as part of a display room, and we got to meet many old and new friends. It was fun to see again Odette De Meulemeester (below, with Kate), a great pentomino fan from Belgium who for many years maintained a pentomino website for and by students and researchers that continues as a center of activities to this day.

On Saturday we moved the display to the University of Art and Design as part of a Family Day and Math-Art Expo for kids and their families to explore various hands-on math activities. The big crowds were wall-to-wall, and our table entertained all ages. These kids were very bright.

This event was also the world premiere of our newest gamepuzzle, Shardinaires-9, a dissection puzzle by George Sicherman, with additional challenges by Kate Jones and Elijah Allen. It's awesome.

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