For too long, simultaneous equations and quadratic formulas have lain neglected and unloved in textbooks at the back of disused school lockers. In 2016 London’s Science Museum will unveil a ₤5 million gallery dedicated to the alchemy behind every technological advance: good old-fashioned mathematics. The mission to inspire algebraists present and future is in the hands of Zaha Hadid. It’s a fitting match: apart from her pre-eminent architectural credentials, Hadid began her career by studying mathematics at the American University of Beirut. The gallery’s pièce de résistance is to be a 1929 biplane whose form was developed by mathematicians in all branches of the aviation industry. Visitors will follow the plane’s aerodynamic journey, one of many interactive illustrations of the practical applications of mathematics that may prompt enthusiasts to go forth and multiply.
The David and Claudia Harding Mathematics Gallery will open in 2016.
Images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects