Fields Medal 2018

FieldsMedalThis guest post is written by Sílvia Santos, Kaitoko Ako – Learning Advisor in Ara’s Learning Services team.

The International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM 2018), the largest mathematics conference in the world, took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last month 1st-9th August. The ICM is a quadrennial congress that has been happening since 1897. These meetings are an opportunity to make mathematics more popular and better known in our society. The ICM 2018 was the first one to be held in the southern hemisphere, and the next ICM will be held in St Petersburg, Russia, in 2022.

The ICM is also the occasion when the Fields Medals are awarded. The Fields Medal is a prize that recognizes outstanding mathematical achievement, and has been described as the mathematician’s “Nobel Prize”. The prize is awarded to two, three or four young mathematicians (under 40 years of age), and there has ever only been one woman who obtained the Fields Medal; Maryam Mirzakhani, in 2014.

The 2018 Fields medalists received their awards in August at the opening ceremony of the ICM 2018 in Rio. The winners were: Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli, Akshay Venkatesh and Peter Scholze.

You can watch the video of the ICM 2018 closing ceremony here.

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Celebrating Women’s Suffrage – 125 years today

125 years ago New Zealand women were vigorously campaigning to achieve the right to vote and would finally win that right in September of 1893. Read more about this milestone in our history on the Ministry of Women website.

Make your own suffrage symbol today in the Library.

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The Suffrage 125 symbol draws on historical colours and icons adopted by women’s suffrage petitioners and presents them in a contemporary form. Violet represented dignity and self-respect and the white camellia was worn by people supporting women’s right to vote in New Zealand. The ‘125’ contains a koru as a link to our distinct New Zealand culture. Come to the Library today and make and wear your very own symbol to celebrate and recognise the occasion.

Listen to Coralie Winn speak in the Library today


With a vision of bringing life back to vacant spaces, Coralie established Gapfiller with Dr Ryan Reynolds, an academic, designer and performer, and architectural designer Andrew Just. The team first convinced a landowner to loan their site for a temporary multi-arts space with a café, garden and outdoor cinema – and a winning formula was established.

Some 70 projects later, from a cycle-powered cinema to the popular Dance-O-Mat, Super Street Arcade and Sound Garden, Gapfiller is a well-known force in Christchurch, and its founders have been hailed as heroes of the Christchurch recovery.

Winn, who is also a Board member of Te Pūtahi – Christchurch centre for architecture and city-making, was recognised with a Queen’s Service Medal for services to the Arts 2014.

 

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Conservation Week 2018: 15-23 September

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In 2018 Conservation Week will take place between the 15th-23rd September.

Conservation Week is an annual event organised by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to raise awareness about the importance nature plays in our lives. The week is a series of activities involving DOC and various groups around the country all with the aim of spreading the conservation message.

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There are many ways you can help conservation efforts in New Zealand including:

  • Go to a Conservation Week event
  • Take part in a conservation activity
  • Donate time and or money to a conservation cause

Visit conservationweek.org.nz to find out how to organise or list an event and to see what conservation activities are happening in your area. There is also a list of conservation causes that could use your time or money.

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In Canterbury check out the follow links to conservation events happening in our region:

DOC Canterbury: Conservation Week Events

Eventfinda: Conservation Week in Canterbury

 

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Te Wiki o te Reo Māori

Kia-Kaha-POSTER-SET-on-black-1This year Te Wiki o te Reo Māori | Māori Language Week is being held from Monday 10 September – Sunday 16 September 2018. This guest blog is by Dora Roimata Langsbury, Kaitoko Ako Māori (Learning Advisor Māori).

Kia Kaha te Reo Māori. There are so many different ways that we can each go hard with our Te Reo Māori.

Learning te Reo Māori has been a very long and very slow journey for me, but during that time my passion for our language has never diminished.

I remember how proud I felt when Naida Glavish won the right to say “kia ora” in 1984. It was then that I realised how powerful it was to use, even simple Māori phrases and kupu, to progress our national journey towards the normalisation of the use of kupu Māori in our everyday kōrero.

When I returned to live to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2002 I made a personal commitment to myself that I would use Te Reo Māori phrases and kupu as much as I was able, in my everyday kōrero.

Since I have started working at Ara Institute I have become a regular use of the bus service. I am very proud of the fact that Ngai Tahu and Waikato iwi have invested in Go Bus. They stated at the time that Go Bus was one of the largest employers of Maori in New Zealand and that this was one of their reasons for making this investment.

For this reason, when I get on the bus each morning I greet my driver with “Morena”, and when I alight the bus I say “Kia ora”. Recently, one of my bus driver’s was ecstatic when she heard my use of Te Reo. She stopped me, as I alighted, and thanked me profusely for using her language correctly.

One of my work colleagues has also started to embrace “Kia ora” as his regular greeting with me. He asked how he could pronounce it correctly, and now joyfully greets me with “Kia ora” each day.

So I would say to you, Kia kaha with your use of te Reo Māori. Just as Naida Glavish demonstrated to our nation in 1984, even the everyday use of greetings such as “kia ora” can really help to normalise the use of kupu Māori in everyday conversations in Aotearoa New Zealand. Although I have a limited vocabulary of kupu Māori, I try to use kupu every day, and to pronounce them correctly.

My one request to our nation is show respect to te Reo Māori by pronouncing it correctly. Te Reo Māori is a very simple language to pronounce. There are many web sites, phone apps, TV programmes and courses available to teach you te Reo Māori and how to pronounce it correctly. Te Hoe is a 10 hour introductory short course we offer here at Ara Institute that could start you on your te Reo Māori journey. Kia kaha te Reo Māori.

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National Festival of Adult Learning and International Literacy Day

Festival-of-Adult-Learning-Poster4-ENGFigure 1. National Festival of Adult Learning (ACE Aotearoa, 2018).

This guest post about the National Festival of Adult Learning and International Literacy Day 2018 is by Leonard Yeo, Kaitoko Ako – Learning Advisor in Ara’s Learning Services team.

The National Festival of Adult Learning Ahurei Ākonga (formerly Adult Learners’ Week) will be held in New Zealand from Monday 3 September to Sunday 9 September. This festival aims to:

  • Celebrate the role of adult learners and educators of adults at all levels and in all settings, such as the home, library or university.
  • Increase public awareness of the range of adult learning opportunities.
  • Promote the advantages of lifelong learning, which may include:
    • Improved knowledge and skills
    • Enhanced employment and career prospects
    • Personal growth and more self-confidence
    • The ability to fulfil one’s potential
    • Becoming a role model to family and others.

International Literacy Day falls on 9 September and it is an important part of The National Festival of Adult Learning. Both events serve to increase public awareness of the importance of raising the level of literacy and adult learning. Promoting these two goals is important, as according to Literacy Aotearoa (2017), more than 1.25 million adults in New Zealand face literacy challenges in their everyday life in relation to reading and writing skills, communication, digital literacy or life skill challenges.

 

References

ACE Aotearoa. (2018). National Festival of Adult Learning [Poster]. In Promotional material. Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.aceaotearoa.org.nz/events-festival-adult-learning/promotional-material

Literacy Aotearoa. (n.d.). Statistics. Retrieved August 30, 2018, from http://www.literacy.org.nz/who-we-are/statistics

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Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga – Tongan Language Week.

812680-MPI-Tongan-Week-Posters-A5This guest post is by Georgie Archibald, Kaitoko Ako Pasifika – Learning Advisor Pasifika in Ara’s Learning Services team.

Mālō e lelei!

From 2-8 September, we celebrate Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga – Tongan Language Week.

This year the theme is “Fakakoloa Aotearoa ‘Aki ‘A E Ofa Fonua” / “Enrich Aotearoa with the love and duty of service to Country, Community, and People.” Reflecting on my own Tongan heritage as a third-generation New Zealander through my maternal family – my grandparents moved from Nuku’alofa to Christchurch as children – I’m grateful for the love and duty that my migrant kainga (extended family) gave in order to provide more opportunities for their loved ones. I know this is true for many in our Pasifika communities. I think that Language Weeks are a great chance to celebrate these strengths and values within a culture, and learning and speaking a language is so important – it enhances the identity and wellbeing of individuals, kainga, and wider communities.

I’m looking forward to next week at Ara as we celebrate Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga with a number of fantastic events run by the Pacific Island Students of Ara – come along to experience Tongan culture, language and food!

Monday 3rd September: “Tongan Language Week Opening Ceremony”

Location: Rakaia Centre, Chch City Campus. Time: 12pm-1pm. Come and join the Pacific Island Students of Ara (PISA) as they open Tongan Language Week with a performance followed by the chance to experience some Tongan food.

Tuesday 4th September: “Make your own ‘Otai”

Location: Rakaia Centre, Chch City Campus. Time: 12pm-1pm. ‘Otai is a sweet Tongan drink packed with fruit and island goodness. Make your own with PISA outside the library.

Wednesday 5th September: “Wednesday Volleyball…with food”

Location: Ara Gymnasium, Chch City Campus. Time: 12pm-1pm. Normal Wednesday student volleyball continues but in celebration of Tongan Language Week PISA is bringing food.

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Daffodil Day 2018

Digital StillCameraSince 1990, the Cancer Society of New Zealand has marked an annual Daffodil Day to raise awareness and funds towards the cause of fighting against cancer. With 1 in 3 New Zealanders affected by cancer, this is a disease that hits home for many of us. The Cancer Society works to research treatments and cures for cancer, to enhance the quality of life for those living with the disease, and to raise awareness through public campaigns and programmes.

This year’s Daffodil Day is 31st August, and with fundraising taking place in public areas, you will likely see many people wearing a cloth daffodil or a sticker having donated towards the cause. With daffodils a symbol of hope, you may like to also keep an eye out for those that are currently blooming throughout the regions – they are gorgeous! Above is a photo of sunny yellow daffodils in The Botanic Gardens in Christchurch.

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