Making math fun for the littles

The National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) went online-only during the COVID19 pandemic of 2020. In order to continue the mission of education – in this case specifically for very young children – the educators employed by the MoMath created lessons to be taught via ZOOM. These are some of the illustrations that were created to be used on the worksheets that were designed for use in MoMath’s MathPlay program.

Changing “Chanels”

On a website I frequent there was a recent entry that was a branding campaign for Waitrose’s premiere line “No. 1”. Most of the branding was beautiful and really spoke to a luxury line of products, but I felt that the logo could use a little tweaking, seeing that it looked a lot like Chanel’s iconic “No. 5” perfume. So I played a little – hopefully showing respect to the designers and the brand.

An enigmatic puzzle

A few years back, on the heels of the release of The Imitation Game , MoMath hosted a puzzle hunt based on that film. To that end, the exhibit designer and I were tasked to create a codex cylinder for one of the problems the participants were to solve. He created this lovely acrylic and magnet device and my job was to make the letters to be manipulated to break the code. Seeing that the hunt was based on the movie, and the movie was based on Alan Turing’s quest to break the German ENIGMA code during World War 2, I used the ENIGMA code machine as an inspiration – using typewriter-style lettering for the letters, and including a patterned interior based on the housing of the ENIGMA machine itself.  These devices are still used by the Museum education department as part of their code-breaking lessons.

An unfinished restoration

Unfortunately this project – a promotional brochure for a furniture restorer – died in the making… which is a real shame. I loved how it was coming along, and I respected the heck out of Marco and his amazing craftsmanship. The shop in Queens was a wonderland of tools and in-progress work. Marco is still in business, but now out in Nassau County, Long Island, instead of Queens, NY as can be seen in the copy.

As a side note, every color in the palette of this brochure was inspired by the things in Marco’s studio.


Summer in the city

MoMath likes to celebrate the solstices with math-related events in the plaza just north of the Flatiron Building. This year I was tasked with designing a sundial (along with our Chief Educator and Associate Director as technical consultants) wherein a person would stand as the gnomon and cast a shadow telling the time of day. It became a 15′ x 15′ vinyl mat which was deployed in the plaza on the Summer Solstice for people to interact with and enjoy.

Happy summer!

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First customer of the day:


People were encouraged to leave a sticker with a message on it. This was at the beginning of lunch: