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Nation's Only Math Museum Set to Open Saturday

By Mary Johnson | December 10, 2012 5:33pm

MANHATTAN — What do you get when you add 20,000 square feet of newly renovated space in the Flatiron District to 40 brand new exhibits and one big-time math nerd?

Answer: The brand new Museum of Mathematics (or MoMath), set to open Saturday, Dec. 15.

The museum’s founders — including executive director and self-proclaimed "math advocate" Glen Whitney — said the institution, which has been nearly two years in the making, will be the only museum in the nation that is dedicated to math. Its mission is to enhance the public’s understanding and perception of mathematics in everyday life through innovative exhibits and public programming.

“There is nothing in the world that hasn’t been improved by math,” Whitney said in a statement. “Math is fun, beautiful and important to getting a really good job in today’s world.”

“MoMath showcases the truly vast mathematical landscape and will take visitors on a numerical journey through the everyday world,” added Whitney, a former hedge fund manager who has spearheaded the museum's creation.

The museum began fulfilling that mission long before the brick-and-mortar institution approached its opening date, hosting a series of well-attended public events focused on highlighting the lesser known ways in which math affects daily life.

Now that the museum has two floors and some 20,000 square feet of space inside a landmarked building on East 26th Street across the street from Madison Square Park, it will feature more than 40 interactive exhibits and activities.

Pedal on the Petals, for one, will invite visitors to ride a square-wheeled tricycle over a sunflower-shaped track.

Another exhibit, Feedback Fractals, uses video cameras to produce beautiful, infinitely repeating patterns.   

The museum’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and tickets for opening weekend at the museum can be purchased online. Adult tickets cost $15; children's tickets are $9.