Over the course of the past 10 years (2013-2023), the Department of Mathematics at the University of Arizona has raised nearly $10,000 for charities across Southern Arizona through their annual Halloween party. With fun themes, engaging activities and creative DIY decor, the Halloween party, which takes place in the Mathematics building every year, is well known throughout the UArizona community.
Each year, the department selects an out of this world theme. Whether it's a galaxy far far away, a city that needs saving like Gotham, a jungle themed game that comes to life, or Andy’s toy chest, the faculty and staff of UArizona Mathematics never disappoint. An all-hands-on-deck event, faculty and staff prepare for the event weeks in advance. “The Mathematics Department's Halloween celebration has always been a huge collective effort. The staff decorate the building to the nines and create many activities for kids, young and old. Students, faculty, and staff go all out on their costumes, and lots of money is raised for a local charity. Most important of all, everyone has fun in a relaxed atmosphere. It's a great expression of our community,” says department head Doug Ulmer. These efforts continued through the 2020 Covid-19 quarantine via Zoom. It's this dedication to bringing a theme to life that draws large crowds every year. Not to mention the chance to win fun raffle prizes, gather free candy and trinkets, and the opportunity to take unforgettable photos.
Contributing to the mathematical sciences merely scratches the surface of what UArizona Mathematics does. Along with transforming the Mathematics building into another world for Halloween, the department also raises money for different charities every year. With the funds raised at this year’s event (see details here), UArizona Mathematics will have raised almost, if not more than, $10,000 for charity. Beneficiaries include the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Community Food Bank, Youth on Their Own, Angel Charity, and Campus Pantry.
This year, attendees will be immersed into the wizarding world of Harry Potter. All proceeds will be going to Mariachi Las Aguilitas from Davis Elementary. The group was recently featured on Good Morning America and is working to raise money to get new uniforms, the iconic “Trajes de Charro”. The money raised by the Math department will help make sure Mariachi Las Aguilitas can continue inspiring the Tucson community just like the annual Halloween party. Donate here or enter to win a raffle prize at the Halloween party.
With new staff and faculty coming aboard every year, who knows what the Department of Mathematics will bring to life next year. In the meantime, this year’s event will be on Tuesday October 31, from 1-5pm. Raffle tickets can be purchased in Math 108. The Hogwarts Express awaits!