IBM iPad app revels in vintage math history

Apple iPad app that celebrates mathematics by recreating what was a 50-foot infographic displayed at the 1964 World’s Fair

IBM today said it has released an Apple iPad app that celebrates mathematics by recreating what was a 50-foot infographic displayed at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. 

The app, Minds of Modern Mathematics, is an interactive vintage-meets-digital show for technologists and students that illustrates how mathematics has advanced art, science, music and architecture. The app features over 500 biographies, milestones and images of artifacts culled from the Mathematica exhibit as well as a high-resolution image of the original timeline poster, IBM stated. 

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The app also includes the "IBM Mathematics Peep Show," a series of two-minute animated films by iconic husband-and-wife design team Charles and Ray Eames that offer lessons on mathematical concepts, from exponents to the way ancient Greeks measured the earth, IBM stated.

The giant infographic was created by team Eames and showed a  massive timeline on the history of math from 1000 AD to 1960 that was part of "Mathematica: A World of Numbers...and Beyond" at the World's Fair."

IBM collaborated with the Eames' to popularize math and science, IBM stated.  In 1961, IBM sponsored an exhibition at the California Museum of Science and Industry in Los Angeles, commissioning the Eames team to develop an interactive installation on mathematics. Called "Mathematica: A World of Numbers...and Beyond,"  the 3,000 square foot installation inspired a generation to embrace science, math and technology. The popularity of the exhibit culminated in a replica being exhibited at the 1964 New York World's Fair, IBM said.

The large-scale mathematics timeline is still on display at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, NY, and the Museum of Science in Boston.  A smaller, poster-sized version of the timeline is still displayed in classrooms and museums around the world, IBM said.

Minds of Modern Mathematics is available from iTunes.

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