For North American math museums, like so much, in the beginning there was nothing. Then, for a moment, there was one. A good start, but it didn’t last long. Soon, there was nothing again. But on Saturday, The National Museum of Mathematics—or MoMath, as the founders like to call it—opened it’s doors to the public and the intangible becomes tangible once more. Zero becomes one, mathematicians rejoice.
MoMath, the mad dream of founder and executive director Glen Whitney, faces out onto the north side of Madison Square Park with 19,000-square-feet of exhibition space and 30 odd exhibits. Exhibits like The Hyper Hyperboloid, a spinning swivel chair surrounded by a circle of floor-to-ceiling ropes, which, when turned, allows you to construct and surround yourself in the elegant contours of a quadratic equation. It’s more fun than it may sound. Or, go to the Mathenaeum, the seven-sided, geometric sculpture studio, and transform basic shapes into—sometimes never-before-seen—original objects. It’s something that The Observer, to our surprise, found fun. (We promptly hid our lunch money for fear of the nerd vibes we might put out, though.)
While walking through the exhibits, it’s not hard to see their appeal for all children and not just the mathematically inclined ones either, things light up, lasers shoot out of walls, sometimes when you hit stuff it makes music. Oh, to be a kid again. Read More