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Scalar Learning Podcast

210 EpisodesProduced by Huzefa KapadiaWebsite

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EP 175: Making Math Interactive at MoMath

In the early 2000s, the Goudreau Museum closed. It was a small math museum on Long Island, but it sparked an outrage among a small group of people who met up in 2008 to open a new math museum. Despite the need for effective math programming, there was no existing math museum in the United States.

Now, the National Museum of Mathematics, or the MoMath, aims to “enhance public understanding and perception or mathematics” through exhibitions and galleries that explain the role of mathematics in the things we see every day, with a particular focus on how art and math intersect.

MoMath is located in Manhattan, New York, and is open 364 days a year. It features programs and exhibits that strive to showcase math in a different light, in a way that is meant to spark enjoyment and interest in the subject.

Upcoming events include “Math Encounters,” an exhibit that explains the similarities between math and dance; “Escher,” a guided tour of an exhibit of works by artist M.C. Escher with Dave Masunaga; “Expressions,” a hackathon hosted by the museum; and “Math Walk in the Park,” a walk through Madison Square Park with Ron Lancaster, where he explains how math is present everywhere.

Other popular programs include the Derivatives tour and the Explorations program, which provides a hands-on experience in a classroom setting that allows families to explore math in a positive way. They have been visited by hundreds of thousands of people in the decade they’ve been open and have led programs and math tours in cities across the country.

One of their current exhibits is called “Reflections: Geometries of the Reflected World.” It focuses on how geometry is seen in the real world, showcasing art from artists Scott Kim and Michael Curry. The exhibit is largely interactive.

MoMath has also been honored with several awards for their work, including the 2016 Communications Award for Public Outreach, the Best Museum for Kids, the 2013 MUSE Award for Education and Outreach, and the Most Fascinating Museum in New York State.

To learn more about MoMath, visit their website at www.momath.org and listen to the full podcast interview with Executive Director Cindy Lawrence below.

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