Wednesday, 23 September 2009
A visit to the Science Museum is always fun. Highlights today were seeing the original book with Kepler's view of the planets fitting into the Platonic solids, Henry Perigal's geometric pen, ome Indian weights and measures (the same object being both), a model of Kelvin's tide-predicting machine, Alan Bennett's blown glass Klein Bottles, and the wonderful range of polyhedra models.
Any visit to the Science Museum reminds me of previous visits, from my first visit to London when I was 11, a later visit with my father when I finished my sixth form, visits during my undergraduate days and ever since. And of course my favourite object of all, Bill Phillips's water-powered economic computer Moniac, which I remember admiring with my father on that first visit forty years ago. It's a false memory - the Museum didn't have the object then - but it's still part of my personal story of how I became interested in mathematics, mathematical modelling and computing: the areas in which I have spent my entire working life.