You don’t need to love math to enjoy the new exhibit “MathAlive!” which opens today at the Arizona Science Center.
No one will be asked to do any long division, find a common denominator or multiply exponents. There are games to play and puzzles to solve. Explanations of mathematical concepts behind the exhibit are provided, but for math-averse kids (and their parents) it’s a safe exhibit to explore.
Each exhibit presents different levels of math or math concepts. The most complex is the star photography exhibit, which explains “co-adding” of multiple star images via a complex formula describing the relationship of the “statistical noise” of one photo to another to make those gorgeous images of outer space. The formula involves dividing by a square root. Ewww! But viewers can enjoy the spectacular star photos without comprehending the formula.
The Flicker Fusion exhibit asks the participant to adjust the rate of frequency of a strobe light to match a spinning platter of figures to make them appear stationary.
“MathAlive!” demonstrates how math underlies our technology, built environment and recreational activities. Each exhibit describes how different professions use math in their work as snowboard designers, city planners, artists or engineers.
The exhibit continues through Sept 3. Admission for Arizona Science Center members is free. Non-member admission is $5 for adults, $4 seniors and $3 children ages 3-17 (does not include general admission).