The Joy of Thinking Foundation

Our Background

After participating in various talent education related activities, Lajos Pósa launched his first personally organised mathematics camp in the summer of 1988. For many years he took care of both the organisational and educational work on his own; even his assistants were former students.

Ever since, a new math camp cohort is launched every year, with current 7th-grade students. Children were traditionally selected through recommendations by teachers and via school visits by Lajos Pósa himself. The current structure of math camps evolved naturally over the years. We first identified Tapolcsányi Általános Iskolai Kollégium, a boarding school for primary school students and the venue which we still use today, in 1991.

In 2004, Péter Juhász took over the responsibility of a summer camp formerly known as Matematika Tanárok Nyári Egyeteme (Summer University for Mathematics Teachers) from Józsefné Lajos. This camp was originally launched in 1992, and was a camp for both the further education of mathematics teachers and for students who performed among the bests on mathematics competitions. The venue has changed over the years, and was at some point in Zamárdi, Vác, Szeged, Kőszeg, and since 2004, in Mátrafüred. That is also when the camp was renamed to “Matematikai Mulatságok Tábora” (Camp of Mathematical Amusements, abbreviated as MaMuT).

In parallel with this, from 2004, new weekend camp cohorts were partially formed from the 7th grade students of the MaMuT camp.

The number of both the weekend math camps and the attending students has been steadily increasing over the years. Several of Lajos Pósa’s former students have joined the teaching and organising work: initially Péter Juhász, later Gergely Tassy, Gábor Steller, Gergely Kalina, and Péter Csorba. Further weekend math camp leaders today are: Gábor Molnár-Sáska, Gábor Szűcs, László Nikházy, and Miklós Danka.

Lajos Pósa has always had a special focus on talented children of a disadvantaged background. He regularly visited Felvidék (a Hungarian region of Slovakia), met with children from Kárpátalja (a Hungarian region of Ukraine), and visited small schools in country-side towns several times. He supported several students’ education from his own personal funds.

The idea of continuing our activities within the framework of a foundation first appeared at the start of 2014, with the goal of enabling long-term operations and financing. Lajos Pósa launched the “A Gondolkodás Öröme Alapítvány” (“The Joy of Thinking Foundation”) the same year, in 2014.