The National Museum of Math, located in the Flatiron District, just celebrated its first birthday. And as a museum of math, it did so with its own unique flair, both sophisticated and geeky.
The first event of the evening was the unveiling of new exhibit, a "dynamic wall' created from over 100 pieces of moving metal slats. The wall, which is really more like a piece of art, is computer generated and can be used to display a large number of wave phenomena. In other words, it is a great way for a math formula to come to life as a 3D object.
One of the best parts of "MoMath" (as it is called by its friends) is that most of the exhibits are interactive. Kids cannot stop playing with the exhibits and during the museum's evening programs, it is pleasantly empty. After exploring the museum itself, all birthday celebrants have the chance to create a giant glowing, mathematical sculpture. My group happily strategized about how to best put together our personal tetrahedron (i.e., a special kind of pyramid), which was then joined to three others. The result was a giant sculpture that we then got to fill with glow sticks. The party was in full swing at that point of the evening.
Since this was a birthday party, we got to share in an exceptionally tasty three-tiered geometric cake. Since we had worked so hard on our sculpture, we got to drink some champagne. Since, at least half the guests were under 12, fizzy lemonade was also served.
Happy birthday, MoMath! And many more!