This project is concerned with the theme of unfolding mathematical
concepts and results for students and other mathematically curious
visitors to Matematicum via hands-on experiments and stories.
Each story and activity is ideally centered around a well-defined
mathematical crux, which is then to be uncovered, unfolded, and
applied to properly understand a given, otherwise non-obvious – or
maybe even mysterious – phenomenon.
For example: How can two circular rotations combine to give
the linear motion of a pump? What are the rotors actually doing in
the Enigma encryption machine? Why and how does a (good)
boomerang return? How do we make a swarm of intercommunicating
robots collaborate to solve a given task? How do the ants find or
construct their shortest pathways? Which roofs pick up the most solar
energy throughout the year?
Concerning content and development of concept (as of December
2007): The Matematicum at the Department of Mathematics is a room
which has now been arranged to receive up to 15 visitors at a time.
A boomerang ‘story’ and a robot swarming ‘story’ have been
implemented and tested. A 3D printer and 3D scanner have been
installed. The printer is in full operation and supplies concrete models
of geometric shape and function such as minimal surfaces and
ingenious pumps. A fume cupboard is being installed for proper and
safe post-processing of the 3D-printed objects. An original three-rotor
German military Enigma machine has been purchased. We expect it to
become the essential central ‘object’ for great ‘stories’ and activities in
the Matematicum concerning the history and development of modern
Matematicum, the mathematical inspiratorium at DTU is funded by:
FNU the Danish Research Agency,
The Birch & Krogboe Foundation,
DTU’s Strategic Fund, and