Turkish founder of Mathematics Village honored with Koç award
AA PhotoThe founder of the Mathematics Village, an enclave in western Turkey that serves as a distraction-free environment for students to learn math, is this year’s winner of the annual Vehbi Koç Award.
Koç Holding Chairman Mustafa Koç handed his award to Prof. Dr. Ali Nesin in the field of education during a ceremony held on the evening of Feb. 25 for his work at the Nesin Mathematics Village, located in the Şirince village of the Aegean province of İzmir.
“We are very proud. I accept this prize in the name of Nesin Foundation,” said the mathematician Nesin, who has devoted his life to creative learning of math and science in Turkey. The ceremony was attended by a number of prominent guests, including members of the Koç family.
“I cannot say we didn’t deserve this award as the Nesin Foundation, I’m aware we have done good things. But I’m sorry I couldn’t do even better. But we will do better. Because the youth deserves this,” Nesin added.
Addressing guests at the ceremony, he also stated that “math, philosophy and art don’t yield financial riches for societies, but they are a way of living.”
“Math problems aren’t used for anything in life, but persisting in, thinking about, and building up the problem correctly, understanding the problem, and realizing the difficulty of it, even if you cannot solve it, serves a purpose in the relationship between yourself and society,” Nesin said.
The math professor, who is the son of legendary Turkish writer and humorist Aziz Nesin, founded the Mathematics Village in Şirince in 2007, with the assistance of writer Sevan Nişanyan.
Nesin is also the founder of the Department of Mathematics at Bilgi University, which he currently chairs and continues to produce scientific and popular articles and books in.
The Mathematics Village is a not for profit organization that has set a global example, accommodating over a 1,000 students each year and teaching them with the support of voluntary scholars from Turkey and around the world.
Its purpose is to allow for education, research and intellectual exchange of mathematics for anyone - children to adults - without the distraction of television, radio, or music.
Speaking at the event, Mustafa Koç used to his speech to highlight the importance of the award ceremony, which is held every year on Feb. 25 to commemorate the passing of Vehbi Koç, the late chairman and founder of Koç Holding.
“We, as the people responsible for protecting and advancing the institutions and values that Vehbi Koç entrusted us with, will always remember him,” he said.