Opening the Mathematics box in a context of widespread innumeracy
The User Group Wikimedia in Brazil launched the initial step of a GLAM initiative with the University of São Paulo Museum of Mathematics, aka "Matemateca," in November. The goal is to upload pictures, media files and educational resources of the entire museum collection, an estimated total of 300 objects. This initial step and the work as a whole are conducted by independent volunteer and valued contributor to the Wikimedia Movement Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton (at Commons: Rodrigo.Argenton) and user-group members; metadata will be created under the supervision of the museum director, Eduardo Colli, by a student worker, who was awarded a university fellowship to contribute to this GLAM initiative and who is associated to the Research, Innovation, and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat, or simply NeuroMat).
This GLAM initiative is part of an ongoing set of programs and activities the Wikimedia User Group has developed to improve content on Mathematics in Wikimedia projects, particularly on Wikipedia in Portuguese. Entries have been systematically improved --for instance, Law of large numbers, Probability distribution, Random variable. This set of activities gathers university professors in Statistics, Mathematics and Journalism, graduate and undergraduate fellows, and Wikimedia volunteers.
The initiative with Matemateca occurs in a general scenario of widespread mathematical illiteracy in Brazil. In the last OCDE PISA assessment of numeracy, Brazil was ranked among the worst countries in terms of mathematical skills. This means that in general Brazilian students are unable to rely on Mathematics to describe, predict and explain phenomena. Innumeracy in Brazil has increased from 2012 to 2015, according to this assessment.
The User Group Wikimedia in Brazil strongly believes Wikimedia projects may have a decisive role in improving scientific literacy in Brazil and other developing countries. Scientific literature tells us the quality of contributions in projects is associated to the level of scientific culture of the country from which contributions are coming, thus in general content in English and German will normally be of higher quality than content in languages normally associated to countries with a lower level of scientific culture. The belief of Wikimedia in Brazil around the uses of Wikimedia projects in scientific dissemination is that this association between level of scientific culture and quality of Wikimedia projects might go the other way around too: as projects like Wikipedia in Portuguese are improved eventually one might expect a tendency for higher levels of scientific culture in Portuguese.
Pictures of the work at Matemateca are not yet available as no upload will be made until proper procedures with the OTRS community are followed. A specific license template was produced and will be associated to each upload. Equipment for this GLAM initiative was granted by the WMF, as a rapid grant. After the preliminary work is done --a total of eight objects are being produced, to provide a good sense of technical challenges in this initiative--, a strategic coordinating meeting will take place in order to assess needs and resources for the full completion of the GLAM initiative. Eventually, this initiative might rely on a new tool called GLAMpipe in order to massively upload files and associated metadata the student worker will produce.
GLAM initiative on veterinary anatomy
As reported in August and September, the User Group Wikimedia in Brazil has been developing a GLAM initiative with the University of São Paulo Museum of Veterinary Anatomy. So far, 95 pictures have been uploaded out of an estimated total of 300 to 400 images. Over 20 images have been recognized either as valued or as featured pictures; three images have been used as picture of the day.
GLAM initiatives with the University of São Paulo Museum of Mathematics and Museum of Veterinary Anatomy are part of an ongoing effort to spread GLAM programs into as many of the 60 museums and cultural organizations of this top university --the best in Latin American-- as possible.
Because of the original feature of connecting a student worker to the GLAM work on veterinary anatomy, this initiative was chosen to be presented as a case study for the GLAM wiki community. This case study is already available in English and Portuguese.
Some GLAM hearts
Dogue de Bordeaux dog heart
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