Coming Soon: The New York City Math Museum

New York's newest museum is anything but formulaic

Manhattan’s Museum of Mathematics is teaching kids that math is exciting. (Brad Trent)
Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe

The sculpture is made from straight strings. But step inside it, and you’re surrounded by curves. A paradox? You’ve just had an encounter with exotic geometry in the form of a hyperhyperboloid.

From This Story

Mind-opening experiences are the whole point of Manhattan’s Museum of Mathematics (opening this fall), which has what many consider a tough mission: teaching kids that math is exciting.

The prime mover is Glen Whitney, a former math professor and hedge-fund analyst who has raised $30 million to build what he calls a “safe place to love math.”

The subject could use some love in a country where Jimmy Buffett sings “Math Suks” and student test scores lag most industrialized nations. Whitney blames an educational mind-set that extols liberal arts as inspirational and demotes math to merely useful—ignoring “the beauty of patterns and numbers and shapes.”

PAID CONTENT

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus