For my birthday (today), we visited the Museum of Math in New York (yesterday). I’ve been looking forward to getting there since it opened six months ago, and my reluctant family had to accede to my birthday destination, so all five of us spent the afternoon.
The museum is a fun place, with lots of interactive exhibits. Some were intriguing but baffling, like a polyhedron exploration device which looked great, but was impossible to control. We rode square-wheeled tricycles, made ourselves into fractal trees, explored cross-sections in the wall of fire, rolled weird shapes to make weird paths, looked at specular holography, and so on.
As is typical with these kinds of high-traffic interactive displays, a number of them were not working, which was disappointing. But overall, it was a lot of fun, and not the same feel as math class at all. One helpful museum worker kept popping up to tell us how to better use the exhibits, and Susan said, “if I had her as a math teacher, I might have learned something in high school!”
It was a great day. If you enjoy mathematical thinking, I heartily recommend the Museum of Math.
A few blocks north, we found the Museum of Sex, but decided not to go in with the kids....