Interactive Mathematics

26 May to 13 October 2013

The Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum is presenting the special exhibition "Interactive Mathematics" from the Mathematikum Giessen from 26 May to 13 October. The intriguing and playful side of the world of numbers is on display to visitors over an area covering some 500 square metres, allowing them to indulge in dice games, crack codes and stack foam disks at around 50 hands-on exhibits.

Exhibition areas:

Hands-on mathematics

The core exhibition includes »classic« Mathematikum items such as Penrose tiles, curves of constant width, mirror exhibits, a giant kaleidoscope, the string pentagon, the golden section, the code-cracking terminal, stacking foam disks (measuring body height in binary), Smarties (guessing game), a puzzle table, the dice snake and tensegrity. The new machine »Zwei an der Stange« all about the birthday paradox is also making its debut.

Focal points

This exhibition is unique in that many things that can generally be seen only on paper have been presented in the form of experiments for the first time. Optical illusions are shown as they really are, illustrating to visitors how our brains work in practice. Such illusions and irritations of perspective can be experienced as they happen thanks to exhibits such as a two-toned cow, an ostensibly lopsided chess board and a head without a body in an advent wreath. From the head in the life belt via the »bump« that doesn't exist all the way to images on bicycle spokes, these experiments fascinate young and old alike.


The Mini-Mathematikum is a hands-on exhibition featuring 20 exhibits developed for children aged between four and eight. The basics of mathematics – numbers, shapes and patterns – can be experienced in myriad different ways.

Children can build a pyramid of balls or arrange coloured squares correctly at the puzzle table. They can feel different shapes and admire themselves from all angles in the little hall of mirrors for as long as they want, as well as discover that the direct route isn't always the fastest.