Travelling mathematics exhibition visits Utrecht

Imaginary: the power and beauty of mathematics

Mathematics is beautiful, and has an infinite number of applications. That is the idea behind Imaginary: the power and beauty of mathematics, a travelling exhibition that will be presented at Utrecht Science Park in the first three weeks of October. Challenge yourself with complex puzzles on large touchscreens, listen to mathematicians from Utrecht University, and learn all about the real-world applications of this field that is sometimes so hard to grasp. All ages are welcome!

Mathematical art

The exhibition is full of colourful posters featuring mathematical figures, 3D printed models and other objects of art based on concepts like hyperbolic geometry. In a hyperbolic space, the sum of the corners of a triangle is greater than 180 degrees, in contrary to what you might remember from school. Don’t believe it? Try drawing a triangle with three 90-degree angles on a balloon.

Challenge yourself with a Penrose puzzle

Do it yourself

The interactive elements of the exhibition consist of puzzles, mathematics origami and apps you can operate via touchscreens. These exhibits pay special attention to the social applications of mathematics, such as digital twins: virtual copies of real-world phenomena, such as objects or processes. The automotive industry, for example, uses digital twins for crash tests. These simulations are in turn based on mathematical models.

Plastic soup and DNA

While the exhibition is presented at Utrecht Science Park, scientists from Utrecht will be giving lectures on mathematics and the role it plays in research. During the lecture by oceanographer Erik van Sebille, you will discover how math helps him map the ‘plastic soup’ in the ocean and what we can do about it. And Professor Rob Bisseling will explain how his mathematical research is vital for our understanding of polymers, such as DNA.

Plan your visit

The exhibition is in Dutch, but it is also accessible for English speakers via QR codes posted at the various exhibits. Several of the lectures will be given in English as well. Admission is free to the exhibition and lectures. Reservations are not necessary for the exhibition. However, groups should make a reservation. Use the button below to sign up for lectures and view the programme.

Programme and signing up

The exhibition is an initiative by Platform Wiskunde Nederland and Platform Wiskunde Vlaanderen, in collaboration with all Dutch and Flemish universities.