We have a vision of a building dedicated to mathematical discovery and celebrating our mathematical heritage.
Many people say that maths is too abstract and difficult for them to understand, and many say that they were turned off maths while at school. Our Centre will present not only applications of mathematics but also the abstract discoveries of maths in a context that makes everyone able to appreciate and enjoy them. Hands-on activities will be at the heart of the vision and will engage children and adults alike.
Maths is all around us, maths is used as a tool for thinking, maths is the language of science, and maths has shaped our civilisation. But where can the ordinary person experience this?
Our Centre will present mathematical objects and mathematical thinking in a way that makes this possible, presenting in attractive and exciting ways the geniuses and discoverers, the discoveries and their applications, the lives of the mathematicians, and the culture, arts, fashion and politics of their time. All aspects of maths will be represented, from the playful abstract aspect of maths as experienced in games to the serious significance of maths in every aspect of our lives from huge engineering projects to helping fight cancer.
What the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum do for science, our Centre will do for mathematics. The Centre will be a hive of mathematical activities, with a collection of exhibits and interactive features to excite visitors, especially the young, and tours and workshops to further explore the concepts involved. Many items will have digital support on computer screens or iPads, as well as links to workshops, events and podcasts available in the web-portal. The Centre will house a library, a shop for books and other materials, a theatre able to host lectures, theatre performances and multimedia shows, and workshop rooms to host sessions for children, young adults and professionals in education.
We wish this place to be the most sought-after venue to host not just mathematical performances but also maths poetry nights, maths comedy and cabaret shows, film screenings and video conferencing linked to remarkable mathematical events like the Fields Medal ceremony. We also see it as the place where companies that rely heavily on maths would like to hold their away-days and corporate entertainment. Part of the collection will have replicas that will tour the UK to community centres and schools as well as featuring at science festivals around the UK.
Our vision is ambitious but it is humble when compared to the legacy of maths in human history and its role in our future. Be part of it.