The National Museum of Mathematics announces the new…
National Numbers Hall of Fame!
The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize — and celebrate! — numbers that have been particularly influential, and to inform the public about these special numbers and how they have deeply affected our lives and our world.
We invite everyone to send us their candidates for inclusion in MoMath’s National Numbers Hall of Fame!
MoMath’s mission is to make math exciting and accessible to all, and demonstrate that mathematics is universal, beautiful, and fun.
We recognize and celebrate that we live in a world of numbers. While math is not just about numbers (as the exhibits at MoMath amply demonstrate!), numbers form a beautiful and powerful common gateway into mathematics. We all enter mathematics through learning to count and write numbers. (And most people have a favorite number!)
Numbers are all around us, from patterns in nature and in the tiles on our floors, to the interest figures in our bank accounts.
Numbers also play key roles in our lives and in society — from the understanding of everyday network traffic, to modeling the economy and our environment, to reconstructing the very origins of our universe.
Some numbers simply delight us through what they teach us about logical reasoning and mathematics.
While all numbers are important, there are some special ones that have been unusually prevalent in our lives and in our efforts to understand the world around us. These numbers stand out and command our attention.
The aim of the National Numbers Hall of Fame is to celebrate these superstars of the numerical world that have truly gone above and beyond to serve our society, enhance our understanding of the universe, or simply entertain us!
Rules and Guidelines
MoMath’s National Numbers Hall of Fame will aim to recognize numbers for their truly outstanding contributions to society — from their roles in groundbreaking mathematical research and applications, to their influences on mathematical recreation and the public perception and dissemination of mathematics.
Numbers will be recognized for their ubiquity in mathematical formulae; popularity in society over sustained periods; and ability to inspire people to play, experiment, and smile.
Each year, the Hall of Fame will induct three new honorees, showcasing numbers that have radically transformed the world in which we live, or have simply charmed us with their remarkable properties and inspired us to step back and think.
Any number that has exhibited at least one of the following five attributes will be eligible:
- Transformative effects on mathematical research
- Profound influence on recreational mathematics
- Sustained popularity in the public discourse
- Role in important mathematical formulae
- Remarkable, thought-provoking characteristics that inspire play and creative thought
Only those numbers whose value can be explained clearly to a general audience of non-specialists will be considered for inclusion.
National Number Hall of Fame — Nomination and Selection Process
The public is invited to nominate numbers online through the National Numbers Hall of Fame website, nnhf.momath.org, through June 30, 2021. Each year, an international team of experts who exemplify creativity and commitment to the field, including mathematicians, math educators, and those who specialize in mathematical outreach, will review the submitted nominations and select 12 numbers that best meet the criteria for selection to be designated as finalists. Final selections will be made by an internal Museum advisory committee.
The inaugural class of three inductees will be announced at the end of the Summer of 2021.
Induction of the inaugural class will take place at a special “Mathematical Induction” ceremony to be held in the Fall of 2021.