Maths and the making of the Modern World And why a Museum is Needed to Tell this Story Chris Budd MATHSWORLDUK
Some common views on maths and mathematicians Mathematics is completely useless Mathematicians are evilsouless geeks All Mathematicians are mad! The only application of maths lies in the Fibonacci aa sequence
The modern world would not exist without maths With maths you can tell the future and save lives Maths lies at the heart of art and music Maths is a subject full of mystery, surprise and magic The truth is rather different!
Spot the mathematician, and why is he important? Maxwell and the discovery of electromagnetic waves Electromagnetism, radio, WiFi,TV, radar, mobile phones, microwaves all come from the work of Maxwell!
A few other examples …. Google: Linear algebra, graph theory, SVD Internet: Network theory Security: Fermat, RSA Error correcting codes: Galois theory Medical imaging: Radon Transform Communications: FFT, Shannon Musical scale: Pythagoras We need to shout about the maths and mathematicians that made these achievements possible
It is time for MathsWorld to set the record straight!!!!!! We need to show the relevance of maths to everyone’s lives And .. that maths is a creative subject and that discovering and doing maths is fun • Challenge is to achieve this in a way in which • We do not lose sight of the abstractness of maths which gives it its power • Engages directly with an audience of many ages
So.. how can we put a living subject like maths into a museum? • Start with an idea Calculus • Why was it invented and who by • What does it mean: How do things change • What can it do: Foundation of all of modern technology • How does it takes us beyond our imagination (with a bit of hands-on fun!) • A touch of chaos Why does it matter and why is it relevant:Climate prediction
But a museum cannot just be a set of static exhibits • Place where new and evolving ideas can be demonstrated and shared • Place where academics, industrialists, teachers, students, policy makers, journalists can all meet. • Place which inspires the imagination • Place which shows the way for the future