When a Math Museum Moves, Geometry Helps

Good morning. It’s Monday. We’ll find out how the National Museum of Mathematics solved a problem that had nothing to do with quadratic equations or exponential functions. We’ll also look at a gathering to remember Flaco on a beautiful day in Central Park.

Credit…Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

The mathematical problem that Richard Rew faced at the National Museum of Mathematics did not involve real numbers, algebraic numbers or transcendental numbers.

“But it does involve geometry and spatial perception,” said Cindy Lawrence, the museum’s chief executive and executive director.

The problem was whether an exhibit would go through the door and up a couple of steps.

It was moving day for the museum, which was taking up residence in a former gym at 225 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, around the corner from its longtime home next-door on East 26th Street. The Fifth Avenue location is a temporary space that the museum expects to occupy for a year while preparing its new permanent quarters.

In its new pop-up space, the museum still puts the fun factor into math, with hands-on exhibits. The museum’s square-wheeled tricycles have been set up near the center of the new space. (They roll smoothly because the wheels fit into catenary curves that keep the axles level.)

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