Researchers seek UK home for mathematics museum

Geoff Wain, a mathematics educator at Leeds University, is promoting an initiative to organize a museum of mathematics in the U.K.

Wain notes the successful Mathematikum in Giessen, Germany, which opened in 2002 and now attracts 150,000 visitors per year, and the Museum of Mathematics in New York City, which is slated to open later this year. He asks “Where would you go to find out about mathematics? … There’s absolutely nowhere in this country. It’s very sad.”

Last week Wain and some supporters gathered at King’s College to discuss plans for the museum, which is tentatively known as “MathWorldUK.” They hope to provide something for persons of all ages, with a strong focus on interactivity and hands-on experimentation. Wain notes, “mathematics as a theoretical thing with no concrete side to it is what can kill it off, I think. … Having things you can actually do is really important.”

For additional details see this New Scientist article, from which the above notes were excerpted in part.

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