The Museum of Mathematics
December 13, 2012 7:55 PM   Subscribe

Last night was the grand opening of the Museum of Mathematics in New York City, the only museum of its kind in North America. The video is narrated by MoMath's chief of content, mathematical sculptor George Hart (better known in some circles as Vi Hart's dad.) The sculpture of the space of three-note chords in the video is based on the work of Dmitri Tymoczko, and the lovely curved hammock of strings a visitor is sitting in at the end is a ruled quadric surface. Many more videos at the Museum of Mathematics YouTube channel. Coverage from the New Scientist. (Previously on MetaFilter.)
posted by escabeche (24 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. That looks fantastic! I cannot wait! (And I say this as someone who was terrible at math.)
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:22 PM on December 13, 2012

Aaaagh, this looks so cool. If I were closer to NYC and had some friends who wanted to come with, I'd go there as soon as it opened.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:24 PM on December 13, 2012

Definitely will check out. Thanks!
posted by rosswald at 8:25 PM on December 13, 2012

WHAT. Yes, awesome. I can even go on my lunch break!
posted by greenland at 8:31 PM on December 13, 2012

Whaaaaaaaaaaaat. I want to go there.
posted by mayurasana at 8:33 PM on December 13, 2012

The Flying Karamazov Brothers provided entertainment last night and even made an Erdos joke. The square wheeled bike was awesome, although it had some pedal-related issues. Rolling on constant diameter shapes in a Reuleaux triangle boat was surprisingly smooth. The laser sliced polyhedrons and conics were informative. And the interactive LED floor on level -1 (also seen reacting to the juggling) was incredible. (All self links)

On the flip side, I wonder how well some of the more fidly exhibits will hold up. The one with a multi-touch, rear projected demonstration of space packing algorithm had lots of moving parts that I worry will not stand up to constant investigation by the young visitors. The NSA provided M-209 is cool, but can it handle the level of daily abuse meted out at a museum?
posted by autopilot at 8:37 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Finally, a reason to go to NYC.
posted by axiom at 8:54 PM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Incredibly cool! Thanks.
posted by Miko at 8:56 PM on December 13, 2012

This is awesome, and now I have a mathcrush on Vi Hart.
posted by sophist at 8:57 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is not the only one of its kind. There are still two copies of Charles and Ray Eames Mathematica exhibit on public display.

This is newer and bigger, but not the only. It looks like a lot of fun.
posted by warbaby at 10:06 PM on December 13, 2012

They have a free night every third Thursday, as long at the date is a solution to x2-x-272=0.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:49 PM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

According to my calculations, only NYC could integrate enough concurrent functions in the right brackets to asymptotically approach break-even for such a graphic convergence.
posted by Twang at 11:19 PM on December 13, 2012

I would hope government and philanthropic funding would mean breaking even was unimportant.
posted by taff at 11:38 PM on December 13, 2012

I waited in line for hours to get into the Museum of Mathematics and all I got was a lesson in Queueing Theory.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:44 PM on December 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

Ak! I missed the grand opening! So sad. But yay that the Museum of Mathematics finally has a physical home!
posted by eviemath at 12:54 AM on December 14, 2012

the Museum of Mathematics finally has a physical home!

I dunno. I'd like to see the Museum of Mathematics find a home in a Platonic realm of immutable forms representing the purest essence of abstract ideals.

But it would be harder to charge tourists for that, you know.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:18 AM on December 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

Oh! Man! This looks so cool!

Also how is it possible that museums of mathematics are not, like, a thing? The mathematics room in the Boston Science Museum was always my favorite -- it didn't occur to me until now that that should clearly be its own museum.

Future NYC meet-up destination??
posted by likeatoaster at 5:56 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by ocherdraco at 6:27 AM on December 14, 2012

Museum of Mathematics Incompete: Logicians

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 13: The New York Gallery of Logic today issued a strongly-worded press release decrying the opening of New York's Museum of Mathematics. In the statement, Logician-General K. Umlaut complained that New York's newest nerd-magnet was "woefully incomplete".

However, MoMath's Chief Proofing Officer Dee-Dee Hilbert hit back, saying that the building could not be both complete and consistent. "We tried completing it last month," said the numerator, "but it just caused terrible inconsistencies - elevators kept going sideways, and walking through main entrance would have you emerge in another country, or even Jersey. It was fucking annoying."

"Anyway, this is all YOUR fault, logicians," he added. "Our initial design was to have the museum contain all things mathematical, even itself, but then your principle of explosion kicked in and it exploded. So up yours."

Experts say that the tiff between number-jugglers and proposition-pushers can only be resolved by a wrestling match between a truth-table and a times-table. But whether that is T or F or twelve sevens still remains to be seen.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:28 AM on December 14, 2012 [8 favorites]

Seeing I have dyscalculia, this museaum would either put me in a seizure or the biggest deer in the headlight look you've ever seen on Earth.
posted by stormpooper at 6:42 AM on December 14, 2012

I've never been to New York City, but one day I'll take my kids there to see this museum.
posted by Sleeper at 11:40 AM on December 14, 2012

I would love to be really good at math, then I could go to the museum & discover a new branch of math as I disprove one of their edgier & more controversial displays. I hope they have edgy, controversial displays. though I'm not sure what would make a display edgy or controversial among mathematicians.
posted by scalefree at 1:05 PM on December 14, 2012

It's around the corner from the Museum of Sex.

Naturally. You know why there's no Nobel prize in Math, right?
posted by axiom at 8:56 PM on December 15, 2012

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