About The Exhibit

One of the most interactive and inspiring exhibitions exploring the world of mathematics ever to tour.

MathAlive! is designed to inspire, to spark the imagination, to reveal not only math at work, but the endless possibilities of math. Designed for families and students the exhibition brings to life the real math behind what kids love most – video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics, and more – and creates interactive and immersive experiences that bring to life the math at work in each, whether in design, application or use.

In this 5,000 square foot exhibition, you’ll ride a snowboard in a 3D experience, design (and play) your own video game, capture your 360-degree image in a unique interactive, jump into a fractal dance party, even design a custom skateboard for “pop” – the quick, snapping motion that allows a board to do the best tricks. Through nearly 40 unique, interactive experiences, the exhibit takes math from its native form into the applied worlds of design, engineering, technology and science.

You’ll explore and operate simulations of NASA’s latest robotics, including the Robonaut 2 and the Curiosity Rover. You’ll test your engineering and city-planning skills on a large-scale eco bridge and take on different engineering roles as they design a more sustainable infrastructure for a city.

The exhibition is designed to answer the age-old question: “Will I ever use all this math they’re teaching us?”

Visitors are accompanied by fun and quirky virtual guides–the “BotZ”–and along the way you’ll meet and hear professionals, visionaries and inspiring personalities talk about math in their work across fields kids are most interested in exploring.

Thematic Areas:

  • Outdoor Action… Adventure Sports
  • Build Your World… Environment
  • Future Style… Style and Design
  • Kickin’ It… Entertainment
  • Game Plan… Video Games and Other Games
  • Robotics and Space
  • Resource Center

Real World Math… Featured Personalities

  • Eric “Tuma” Britton, professional skater/instructor
  • Brooks, co-owner and technical director, True Skateboards
  • Rondi Davies, geologist and champion marathon swimmer
  • Tanya Martinez, electrical engineer
  • Christine Outram, director, City Innovation, research associate, MIT
  • Neri Oxman, architect and designer, MIT Media Lab
  • Theo Jansen, artist and designer
  • Daniel Ferguson, IMAX film director and screenwriter
  • Ajay Kapur, musician and computer scientist
  • Robin Hunicke, game developer
  • Michael Mateas, game developer
  • Robin Murphy, robotics engineer
  • Kathryn Gray, student and supernova searcher
  • Robonaut 2

Worldwide Premiere
Smithsonian Institution
International Gallery
Washington, DC

The national exhibition and presentation at Smithsonian are made possible by Raytheon.

Developed in Collaboration with:

  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • NASA
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • MATHCOUNTS
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • MathMovesU