Monday, December 17, 2012

MoMath - Museum of Mathematics Opening Day

I attended the Dec. 14 pre-opening and Dec. 15 opening day celebrations of America's one and only Museum of Mathematics in New York City. It was a great experience and a great museum. Glen Whitney, Director, and all his staff and contributors are to be congratulated on a job well done. The museum is located mid-block on 26th St. in Manhattan, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Mathematics is THE ultimate language, but it needs work, and Mathematicians are working on it. From the youngest pre-School teacher to Alain Connes with his Non-Communicative Geometry project in France to The Langlands Program out of British Columbia and everyone in between, it is being worked.

Mathematics, taught VERY POORLY in America's Public Education school system, through no fault of the teachers themselves (they have the highest teacher drop-out rate) but rather the insane bureaucracy brought on by people in charge of Education who know NOTHING of Science, let alone Math (they are all political appointees), is THE deepest, THE widest, and THE tallest field of study.

It is a LANGUAGE, NOT a "Science." It transcends Science. It grew out of Logic. It is real, so real in fact, it would exist even if Reality itself never existed.

But forGET all the equations you ever learned by rote in a system maintained via TRADITION, of all the God-forsaken things, to make you HATE this MOST wonderful subject.

EXPERIENCE Mathematics, sans formulas, experience it hands on, interactively, at America's National Museum of Mathematics, in NYC. Bring the kids, including yourself, and be young again. A pleasant time is guaranteed for all.

Here are the names of the exhibits, not all but most of them, and prepare to THINK, not in a brain-stressing but rather in a fun and pleasant manner, THAT is what the museum is all about, and hopefully, each state and major city will repeat it's success, in time:

Light Grooves, Hyper Hyperboloid, Pattern Mesh, Structure Studio, Shapes of Space, Mathenaeum, Tracks of Galileo, Coaster Rollers, Twisted Thruway, String Product, Human Tree, Marble Multiplier, Math Square, Tessellation Station, 3D Doodle, Tile Factory, Sixth Sense, Monkey Around, Enigma Cafe, Rhythms of Life, Gallery of Innovation, Super Soma, Finding Fifteen, Feedback Fractals, Twist and Roll, and Marble Multiplier.

Several links before we show the tables.

The Official MoMath Website

The Official MoMath Facebook Page

Scientific American magazine's article re MoMath's Opening

Alan Boyle of Cosmic Log's ooriginal articl from a year ago descibing the museum to be
From the article:

Although the museum is designed to appeal to all ages, the team is paying special attention to how well the exhibits go over with students in the fourth through the eighth grade.

"That's our sweet spot, for a very simple reason," Whitney said. "If you look at the trajectory of students going through the curriculum, things seem more or less fine up to the fourth grade. That period from the fourth to the eight grade is where we see a decline in the engagement of the students. Why are we opening a math museum in the first place? It's because we see cultural issues in this country."

International studies have shown that 15-year-old students in the U.S. perform well below the global average when it comes to math — specifically, 25th place out of 34 countries in 2009, when the Program for International Student Assessment's most recent test was conducted. EducationSecretary Arne Duncan said the results were "an absolute wakeup call for America."

Whitney has been awake and aware of this problem for a long time. He believes the standard sequence of math classes is way too limiting, and fails to engage students as much as they could be engaged. "Mathematics is actually much broader and richer than the list of topics that one reaches through the normal curriculum," he said.

My own MoMath Facebook Photo Album which will be expanded in time.

My own Facebook page

Front entrance facing Madison Square Park, on 26th St. between 5th and 6th avenues. — at Museum of Mathematics.

Main entrance to the museum.
MoMath - Entrance view - pre-Opening night, Dec. 14, 2012

The top Floor is Floor 0 and the bottom Floor (Entrance) is Floor -1

Plaque of Founders

"Light Grooves", a holographic sculpture
The same sculpture, but from an angle 90 degrees different. See if you can notice the difference.

Mathematical pewter jewelry on sale in the Museum Shop.

More Mathematical jewelry

Structure Studio

Shapes of Space

The Mathenaeum kiosk and Tracks of Galileo

Ride the square wheeled tricycles at the Twisted Thruway

String Product shows multiplication in 3-D, as well as being the center of the helical stairs to the next floor.

Math Square is highly interactive and changes as you walk on it.

The nodes on this sculpture provide sound as you touch them. 

Tessellation Station

The Enigma Cafe has many Magic Puzzles at various tables to try out. 

Rhythm of Life

Gallery of Innovation

The Human Tree is a popular exhibit in which you move you arms in front of the camera, and the screen behind the camera projects your movements in fractal form.

The Human Tree screen

Twist and Roll challenges you to choose the right 3-D object and predict how it will roll.

Some items I purchased last evening at pre-Opening. All are affordable approximately $12 each. The colored Moire coasters are more beautiful than seen in this lighting. Euler's Identity is considered by Mathematicians to be the most beautiful "equation" or "formula" in Math. It is composed of 2 operators (+, =) and 5 constants (pi, e, -1, 0, and i) only and shows how they interrelate:

e raised to the i(pi) +1 = 0 


e^i(pi) + 1 = 0

MoMath Museum Store

MoMath Musuem Store

View from Madison Square Park across the street, after dusk. The museum store is on the left.

A sculpture in Madison Sq. Park of the temporary (Through Feb. 13, 2013) sculpture: BUCKYBALL. Looking east in this picture, MoMath is to the left, or north.

Looking North from the BUCKYBALL sculpture, MoMath is small and in the left center. Christmas Tree and the Empire State Building as well, which is 7 blocks north.

From the Park, MoMath is in the lower left.

With Glen Whitney, Director and Cindy Lawrence, Assistant Director, at MoMath pre-Opening night, Dec. 14, 2012


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Anonymous said...


I saw you mentioned Renormalization several times in your previous blog entries. I think we spoil good equations with bad interaction terms and do not see our mathematical error, but invent a "bare particle physics" to interpret it. See my simplified explanation on my blog



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