As a devout numbers geek, Glen Whitney was bothered that the cultural landscape offered no museum celebrating the field of mathematics.
So he left his job as an algorithms specialist and manager at Renaissance Technologies LLC, a quantitative hedge fund started by Jim Simons, and created the nonprofit Museum of Mathematics.
This year, he found a 19,000-square-foot space on East 26th Street in Manhattan and plans to open the doors in 2012.
“I started this museum because I wanted people to have a chance to see the beauty, excitement and wonder of mathematics,” said Whitney, 42, speaking in the empty space under construction.
When it opens, MoMath won’t display slide rules or other relics initially. It will offer math experiences for visitors of all ages: logic puzzles and games like Rubik’s Cube and a hyper hyperboloid, a sculpture made of lines of red thread that create the illusion of being in a curved cage of strings. One planned exhibit features a square-wheeled tricycle that can ride on a special path as smoothly as one with round wheels.
Whitney, the museum’s executive director, is especially targeting children in grades 4 through 8, yet he hopes their parents and his peers from the hedge-fund industry will stop in and even make a donatio.
I think they should target students up to the 10th grade, great idea dude. I will take a visit when it opens.