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Education Math

Mathematics Museum To Open In Manhattan 80

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-mom-who-uses-math-in-real-life dept.
eldavojohn writes "If math gives you a raging brainer prepare yourself for MoMath opening next year to 'expose the breadth and the beauty of mathematics' in New York City. After raising $22 million from donors, Glen Whitney wants to challenge the average American's perception of mathematics. Whitney has proven himself with Math Midway a sort of traveling carnival exhibit, and prior to that worked on algorithms at Renaissance Technologies."
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Mathematics Museum To Open In Manhattan

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  • by RedACE7500 (904963) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:47PM (#36600678)

    Visitors must pay $3.14 to enter.

  • I sure hope that they do provide some interesting insights when it comes to how Fermat's theorem was solved and a lot of stuff that can range from weird to simple but interesting.

    And there are a lot of math out there that's still waiting to get solved. Some of it may even have an impact on our daily life.

    • by pablo_max (626328)

      I rather hope it doesn't serve as museum from a time when the US was interested in and invested in math and science.

      • by grub (11606)

        Yeah, JFK's speeches were cool but this isn't the place for them.
    • Is there anything that could potentially be solved by someone who enjoys dabbling in a bit of math, or do you need an advanced degree just to understand the problem?
      • by Z00L00K (682162)

        There are problems that are rather simple to set up and understand, but requires horrible math to solve.

        And there are problems that are extremely confusing but end up in a very simple math formula.

        Just look at the formula E=mc2 - it's a very simple formula, but it takes something to actually come up with it.

        In construction work where you build a curved bridge between two points you may actually have a rather complex set of mathematics if you want to optimize the construction. Some bridge constructions were

      • by vlm (69642)

        Is there anything that could potentially be solved by someone who enjoys dabbling in a bit of math, or do you need an advanced degree just to understand the problem?

        The most obvious /. car analogy is any amateur can build a completely customized car, even a race car, given enough time and effort, even if the major car companies would be completely uninterested and are staffed exclusively with professionals who have advanced degrees.

        I would think an amateur could be successful if focused on an extremely narrow little area for some years, perhaps cryptographic hashes, some peculiar tiny aspect of number theory, maybe a sticky computer science Knuth style analysis problem

    • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @02:54PM (#36601990)

      I sure hope that they do provide some interesting insights when it comes to how Fermat's theorem was solved

      The last PBS "NOVA" show I ever watched was theoretically about that very topic. Unfortunately, it was 60 minutes about how messy his desk is, yet its such a nice house and yard, and he has a wife and kids, and he certainly is brave to try something difficult instead of sitting at home and watching Oprah reruns, and he has pet cats, and similar such daytime talk show garbage. I was literally sitting at the edge of my couch drinking an energy drink waiting for some "math" explanation of the FLT proof using computer graphics, maybe by The Man Himself, and then I get .... Roll the Credits! .. and later tonight, on Lawrence Welk ... !

      I fear, greatly, that this will be a museum about mathematicians not about math. Look, we have one of Newton's hair curlers! Over here, a life size diorama of Erdos. A statue of Pythagoras over here! A poster of the village Srinivasa Ramanujan grew up in! We are Smart because we spray painted a large Square Root sign on the Wall!

      And then, sadly, on the walkway to the exit, a stream of bubbas telling each other how much they learned about math today. How horribly sad, and I hope none of my predictions come true, although I expect them to.

    • And there are a lot of math out there that's still waiting to get solved. Some of it may even have an impact on our daily life.

      I have this truly remarkable solution to all these problems out there waiting to be solved. But, alas, this posting is too small to contain it.

      Signed,

      Dr Jack Kevorkian

  • Hope they call it 3M instead of MMM (Manhattan Mathematics Museum).

  • by Reed Solomon (897367) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:52PM (#36600810) Homepage

    They'll do something they think is clever like announcing their opening date as "If a train is heading to Manhattan from Los Angeles to open a museum on mathematics at 50 mph, and leaves on the first friday in July 2011, and another train is heading to Manhattan for the same reason at 150 mph but departs on the following monday, which train arrives on opening day first.. and what date is it?" hurr durrr.

    • This. Would. Be. AWESOME!
    • by Larryish (1215510)

      90+ percent of math for U.S. citizens goes like this:

      Eat 7 twinkies
      plus 4 cheeseburgers
      plus 3 pounds of french fries
      plus 6 fried pies
      and 1 super-jumbo diet soda
      _______________
      equals your big fat ass riding
      a trolley through Wal-Mart

      http://i.imgur.com/3N3v6.jpg [imgur.com]

    • The answer is: Train A. Distance from Manhattan to LA is 2800 miles by driving, which means the first train would reach Manhattan 16 hours before the first train rolled out of bed. Good thing this wasn't on a billboard, or I would've been nerd-sniped.
      • by vlm (69642)

        The answer is: Train A. Distance from Manhattan to LA is 2800 miles by driving, which means the first train would reach Manhattan 16 hours before the first train rolled out of bed..

        Clearly you haven't experienced the joy of Amtrak travel. Admittedly it is like paradise compared to aircraft travel, but only Amtrak can spend 10 hours puttering around greater Cleveland due to "repair work" at 5 MPH. The slowest I ever experienced was about 30 hours from downtown CHI to downtown NYC.

    • And the answer is: The train traveling at 50 mph that left on Friday. A 72-hour lead is just *way* too big. As to what date it gets there, that depends on the exact length of the journey; obviously a train cannot follow a straight line from LA to New York. The Internet readily provides me with the straight line distance (2,462 miles) and the driving distance (2,778 miles). Railway distance should be greater than either of these, since passenger rail routes are less common than roads. It also depends on

  • by softWare3ngineer (2007302) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:54PM (#36600848)
    I hope they show some np 'unsolvable' problems. they translate nicely into easy to understand story problems and show that we still have alot to learn even about math.
    • by call -151 (230520) *

      Part of the plan is to make sure people realize that mathematics is alive and growing, with active areas of research and isn't just a bunch of stuff people sorted out 100+ years ago. So unsolved problems in many guises will turn up.

  • "If math gives you a raging brainer"

    I must be getting old. I haven't had a raging brainer in years, unless you count that 'morning logarithm' a couple of weeks back...

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @02:25PM (#36601400) Homepage

    Mathematica [wikipedia.org], from 1961. It's at the New York Hall of Science now.

    • by call -151 (230520) * on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @04:00PM (#36603238) Homepage

      There were three copies of the Eames exhibits- they were in various places, notably Boston and LA for many years, and are now in the New York Hall of Science (complete), Boston and Atlanta (incomplete.) My understanding is that the Eames had a lot of stipulations about how the exhibits could be displayed and they cannot be altered or updated. The NY Hall of Science guys spent a lot of time sorting out some of the broken parts of their exhibit, and are rightly proud of some of the finagling they had to do to get a few of the exhibits working again. They are the only ones who were able to get the light bulb cube for multiplication operational again as far as I know.

  • George Hart (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hoggoth (414195) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @02:25PM (#36601404) Journal

    I had the pleasure of meeting George Hart at a recent Maker Faire. George is one of the people working on getting this museum up and running. Go Google some of his art / math. It's fantastic, beautiful and fun. Also Google his daughter Vi Hart. She has a great blog and some fun YouTube videos. She's the one wearing forearm warmers at any math related gathering (don't ask).

    • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @03:05PM (#36602228)

      Also Google his daughter Vi Hart

      Let me guess, the other child is named Emacs? Man, if only my wife let me get away with something cool like that....

      • I am one of his other children. Sorry, to disappoint, but we all actually have very normal names. We do however have very unique dinner table discussions on holidays. We just had one somehow evolve from playing the viola, to the effects of moving infinitely long objects.
  • I hope 123 4th Street is available.
    • Would that be East or West 4th street? If West, it is in a neighborhood which is home to many NYU buildings including, I think, Math, Physics and Medical departments. Which might be appropriate!
      • According to Google, there isn't any 123 West 4th Street. (Google shows it as the middle of an interesection.) 123 East 4th Street exists but doesn't quite look like an appropriate area. It's a small building right next to a "magic touch unisex salon": http://bit.ly/k7HaBS

        • by russotto (537200)

          123 East 4th Street exists but doesn't quite look like an appropriate area. It's a small building right next to a "magic touch unisex salon"

          Not such a big deal. The actual location, 11 East 26th Street, is a block away from the Museum of Sex.

          • I actually considered visiting that during my last trip to NYC, but my wife wasn't interested. (There's a joke in there somewhere.)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Naw, that's boring. How about 271 E (yes, it has to be E) 82nd St? Just a few blocks from MoMA.

      Or maybe 314 16th St?

      Or 314 1st Ave?

  • by bunhed (208100)
    very cool idea
  • They're missing a number. Proof is left as an exercise for the visitor.
  • Those bast8rds kicked me out for dividing by zero!

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