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Interdisciplinary Baltimore conference to host events for families

The interdisciplinary Bridges Baltimore conference is reaching out to local families as well as international scholars and artists with a Family Day focused on the connections between math, science and art.

The annual Bridges conference, to be held July 29-Aug. 1, advertises itself as the largest mathematics and art interdisciplinary conference in the world. This year’s iteration expects around 300 attendees representing more than 20 countries.

Those 300 attendees will be joined on Friday, July 31, by children and their families for an immersive experience examining the hidden links between those disciplines.

Attractions include a short film festival, a math-inspired poetry reading, an experimental theater performance, a mime program and a dance-and-math presentation. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a series of games and creative workshops exploring the themes of the conference.

The Family Day events are free and run from 2-9 p.m., and no reservation is required. The day’s attractions will be housed at the University of Baltimore’s John and Frances Angelos Law Center, at 1401 N. Charles St., and the university’s student center, at 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave.

The Bridges conference usually caters to an academic population, so Family Day will help to expand its audience to the local community, said Sujan Shrestha, an assistant professor at the University of Baltimore and lead organizer for the conference.

“I always say math, art and science is thoughtful, it’s fun, it’s magic,” Shrestha said. “In the context of this conference, hopefully people will see that it’s inspiring, it makes you think about things in a different way.”

Shrestha said he’s also excited for the interaction between Baltimore’s families and the international attendees leading the workshops, who will be exposing their audiences to different cultures.

The annual conference has a distinctly international flavor. Baltimore is the second Maryland city to host, after Towson University in 2012. In recent years, the event has also taken place in countries across the globe, from South Korea to the Netherlands to Portugal.

More information about the Bridges Baltimore conference can be found at http://bridgesmathart.org/home/, and a schedule for Family Day can be found here.