One day in February 2014, I was fortunate enough to battle through London during a Tube strike to attend a reception at the House of Commons for MathsWorldUK – an initiative then just two years in development which aimed “to establish a national Mathematics Exploratorium in the United Kingdom … an interactive centre full of hands-on activities showcasing mathematics in all its aspects for people of all ages and backgrounds”.
That initiative took a huge leap forwards last week with the launch of MathsCity Leeds, which my son and I visited on its opening weekend.
The UK’s nascent maths exploratorium, Maths World UK, has secured match funding for any donations made towards setting up the museum, to the tune of £125,000 – this means if they can raise that amount of money, a donor will double it. They’re now within £20,000 of the target, and need your donations to close the gap.
The project has been in development for a few years now, but until they have enough funding they won’t be able to set up a permanent centre. If a museum of mathematics in the UK is something you’d like to see, you can use the links below to donate, or find out more about the project.
Mathematics is like marmite: either you love it or hate it. Most people who hate it do so because ‘it’s too hard’ or ask ‘what’s the point’, while those who love it tend to be those who use the subject in the workplace or are studying it. Will mathematics always be like this, or is there a way to change the perception of maths and make it more fun and appealing?
MathsWorldUK has a plan to develop a museum dedicated to mathematics in the UK. The idea behind this is to provide the public with a chance to see how mathematics is used within our society, and experience the discoveries mathematicians have made – for themselves.