Vision and Next Steps
What will be in the Mathematics Discovery Centre
The Discovery Centre will excite the imagination by encouraging interaction with mathematical objects and images. These will stimulate mathematical thinking in unusual ways that make it possible to appreciate the beauty, ingenuity, applicability and importance of Mathematics. It will include problems and puzzles to engage its full range of visitors. View our short video making the case for the Discovery Centre.
The Discovery Centre will be divided into Zones. Some Zones will focus on a powerful mathematical idea (e.g. Numbers Large and Small, Symmetry, Chance, Curves and Surfaces, Mathematical Structures, Change, Chaos, Waves, … )
Others will focus on areas of application (e.g. Mathematics in Sport; in Aviation; in Architecture; in Science; in Medicine; in Computing; in Communications; in Finance, in Engineering; …).
The People Gallery will provide profiles and stories about the remarkable people, both men and women, who have over the years contributed to the astonishing development of mathematics. We will also include some of the people of today who use mathematics in their everyday jobs and in research.
A meeting place
The Discovery Centre will host mathematics festivals, lectures and workshops, theatre performances and multi-media shows, and will house temporary exhibitions. It will store mobile shows which can travel round other museums and discovery centres. It will be a fun place for people of all ages, novices and professionals, to meet, to discuss mathematical ideas over a cup of coffee or snack and a place to browse and buy books and artifacts related to mathematics. It will have workshop spaces and lecture theatres and will become a ‘mathematics milieu’, one of the preferred venues for major Mathematical Events, including the presentation of Awards for outstanding mathematical achievement and film screenings of events such as the Fields Medal ceremony (the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel Prize presentation).
An extensive outreach programme will be aimed at schools and other groups.
What the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum do for the physical and biological sciences, MATHSWORLDUK will do for Mathematics.
Locating the Mathematics Discovery Centre
The Discovery Centre will be aimed especially at school parties and family groups, but it is intended to include material suited to visitors of all ages, background and abilities, including tourists and mathematics professionals. No matter what your age, or background, there will be lots of things in the Discovery Centre to excite you!
For all these reasons it is essential that the Mathematics Discovery Centre will be sited in a major UK city with easy access for large numbers of visitors. At the moment we are pursuing the possibility of a venue in Leeds, London or Manchester.
“Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something different.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe