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Finding Fun Isn't Hard At The Museum Of Math

If you think math is boring, it's time to see Glen Whitney. As the director of the Museum of Mathematics (which opens in New York this month and is the nation's only math museum), he has built interactive exhibits to trick you into loving numbers. Says Whitney: "The most common complaint we get is 'Well, that was fun, but where's the math?'" Sneaky, sneaky. Here are a few of his tricks.

Mathenaeum
In this math sculpture studio, visitors use specially created software to build designs using points, faces, and lines. The best are crafted by a 3-D printer and displayed the next day.

Hyper Hyperboloid
"When people are surprised
by things, they'll remember them," Whitney says. Visitors can step inside this structure of straight threads, where the strings appear to be curved.

Square Wheel Tricycle
Already a hit for "Math Midway," the museum's traveling event, the square-wheeled trike offers a smooth ride over a humped surface, thanks to the power of geometry.

Illustration By Jason Lee

A version of this article appeared in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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