The Department of Mathematical Sciences is sponsoring a “Focal Point” math photo contest, beginning Monday, October 8 and ending Wednesday, October 24.  The contest aims to promote the beauty and value of mathematics at Rutgers–Camden, by capturing mathematical theorems, patterns, etc., in photography.  An example is when light rays hit the inside of a coffee mug, they can get reflected so that in some areas there are multiple rays and other areas there are no rays.  The surface which separates these regions is known as a caustic surface. Mathematical optics predicts that the intensity of light along the caustic surface is very large, and therefore, these surfaces can be very easily observed with the naked eye – as shown.  Coffee Mug

Contest rules:

  • All Rutgers–Camden undergraduates are eligible.
  • The photo must be appropriate and taken by the contestant.

How to enter:

  • Submit all items (photo, in JPEG format; the photo title; and the photo caption, which should describe the image and how it evokes mathematics) to

Selected photos will be displayed in the math department office and published on the math department website.  A winner will be announced at MathFest on Thursday, October 25, during the free period (12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.).