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Our undergraduate university department is looking to spruce up our rooms and hallways a bit and has been thinking about finding mathematical posters to put in various spots; hoping possibly to entice students to take more math classes. We've had decent success in finding "How is Math Used in the Real World"-type posters (mostly through AMS), but we've been unable to find what I would call interesting/informative math posters.

For example, I remember seeing a poster once (put out by Mathematica) that basically laid out how to solve general quadratics, cubics, and quartics. Then it had a good overview of proving that no formula existed for quintics. So not only was it pretty to look at, but if you stopped to read it you actually learned something.

Does anyone know of a company or distributor that carries a variety of posters like this?

I've tried searching online but all that comes up is a plethora of posters of math jokes. And even though the application/career-based posters are nice and serve a purpose, I don't feel like you actually gain mathematical knowledge by reading them.

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  • $\begingroup$ Undergraduate University. And, yes, we already have a bunch of undergrad research posters up. $\endgroup$ – Aeryk Apr 1 '15 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ As mentioned in my response to MESE 7394, a few colleagues and I started making posters of cool math problems. Though the intended audience is primary/secondary school students, the sentiment (I think) is the same, and the posters definitely "spruce up our rooms and hallways." If you like these and want to customize them, I'm happy to share the editable InDesign files if you email me at the address listed on the site. $\endgroup$ – Xi Yu Apr 1 '15 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ smbc.myshopify.com/collections/smbc-posters/products/… This should totally be in every school. $\endgroup$ – Joey Kramer Apr 1 '15 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ Also, I totally realized that I did not post something relevant to this thread. I apologize. $\endgroup$ – Joey Kramer Apr 1 '15 at 23:01
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One potential source is the AMS blog Visual Insights run by John Baez. Each image comes with a clear mathematical story. Most would not fit on one page, but you could make a poster by printing out several pages and pasting them on a poster (or doing the equivalent electronically).


         
          Schmidt Arrangement of the Eisenstein Integers – Katherine Stange.
         
          Icosahedron Illustrating Pentagon-Hexagon-Decagon Identity – Greg Egan.


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The German organization Imaginary made a lovely set of posters showing algebraic surfaces. You can buy a set, though they're in German. Rice University maths department has them on hanging in the corridors. Here's an example:

enter image description here

There's an English translation available on their website, though it's not very idiomatic; I've sometimes thought of retranslating it, and I would if there was demand.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't know about demand -- but I'd welcome an idiomatic translation! $\endgroup$ – Benjamin Dickman Apr 2 '15 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ @BenjaminDickman: What would you do with it? $\endgroup$ – Marius Kempe Apr 3 '15 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ ...I'd read it! $\endgroup$ – Benjamin Dickman Apr 3 '15 at 18:10
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    $\begingroup$ @BenjaminDickman: Ah, I see. I'd only be motivated if people wanted to hang it up in corridors/rooms/museums/etc... $\endgroup$ – Marius Kempe Apr 3 '15 at 18:32
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The American Mathematical Society has a collection of beautiful posters in their Math Samplings. They are usually adding new ones every so often, and there and some new ones that are maybe a bit more what you'd call informative, that weren't there when you'd looked in the past:

http://www.ams.org/samplings/posters/posters

The posters are available for free to current students and instructors, and they just ask for you to provide the school name and some basic info. Don't need to make an account or anything. I've ordered posters different times and it's a seamless process of ordering them. They come quickly and in excellent shape.

A few of the posters are:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for contributing an answer. But also note 'We've had decent success in finding "How is Math Used in the Real World"-type posters (mostly through AMS), but we've been unable to find what I would call interesting/informative math posters.' in the original post. Yet, the information might still be useful for somebody else. $\endgroup$ – quid Apr 2 '15 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ @quid , I updated my answer to show some of the other posters that have been added more recently that are more informative, instead of just the "How is Math Used in the Real World" - type ones . :) $\endgroup$ – Churning Butter Apr 2 '15 at 18:32
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There is a series of posters made by Key Curriculum Press that each detail a different culture and their contribution to mathematics. They are colorful, informative, and have, in my experience, been very engaging for students to look at and read.

Unfortunately, with the McGraw-Hill purchase of Key Curriculum a few years ago, they have been pigeonholed into only working on the GSP program, so i can't find these poster sets on their website. However, the following two links provide contact information that may or may not still be valid...

http://www.maa.org/publications/periodicals/convergence/multicultural-classroom-posters-sets-1-2

http://www.maa.org/publications/periodicals/convergence/multicultural-classroom-posters-sets-3-4

I do not have the time to try and track these down but if you are successful in finding a place to purchase these posters, please let me know in the comments so I can update this answer!

Update: While this is not the specific poster set that I was thinking of, these look nice and are in a similar vein to the Key Curriculum posters described above

http://www.enasco.com/product/TB18084T

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Various conference attendees sometimes have informative posters as part of their advertising campaigns. I have an old poster (somewhere!) of the graph of the real and imaginary parts of the zeta function on the critical line, produced I think by Wolfram Research. You might ask colleagues about promotional materials they have seen, and then check out the vendors and see what they have in their libraries/collections.

Gerhard "And There's 'Men Of Mathematics'" Paseman, 2015.04.01

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This is a slightly left of field answer but have you thought of no posters but something interactive instead? I'd go for installing whiteboards with a hanging pen and stick a problem of the week on it. The questions could be made to be colourful, inspiring and relevant to what you're teaching. The most creative solutions to be discussed in class. Better still have the students create the problem! Or question for the professor? In my classroom all the walls have magnetic boards so that the students can do puzzles on them. I also have magnetic matches for sequences and flip over answers to simple questions.

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    $\begingroup$ really great outside of the box answer! $\endgroup$ – celeriko Apr 10 '15 at 1:11

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