For the first time in his life, on September 24th, 2021, the famous Manneken Pis was dressed as a mathematician. Inspired by the "father of geometry" Pythagoras, a team of researchers with participation of our postdoc Mima Stanojkovski has created this special suit for Brussel's best-known icon.
With this costume the scientists hope to increase the visibility of mathematics and arouse interest in this field of study. The costume consists of a white and purple gown with purple representing the colour of the Faculty of Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, which financed the dress. For the headgear, a turban was chosen, referring to the journeys Pythagoras regularly made to Babylon. The turban rests on a "klak", a typical Brussel's student cap, which is often decorated with buttons and slogans. The one worn by Manneken Pis represents Brussels and mathematics.
The costume is completed by a rotating device that illustrates Pythagoras' theorem: a proof "without words". The fulcrum of the device is a right triangle, on whose edges three hollow squares are constructed. As the device rotates, it becomes clear that the amount of water necessary to fill the squares constructed on the catheti is the same as the one required for the square on the hypothenuse.
From left to right: Prof Dr Ann Dooms, Dr Leo Margolis, Dr Ann Kiefer, Dr Mima Stanojkovski, Quentin Bolsée, Nicolas De Coster, Designer Julie De Kezel
The first sketch of Manneken Pis’s mathematical dress was drawn by Mima Stanojkovski.