By WRAL Tech Wire STEM News

ARMONK, N.Y. – Do you know what year the clergy in Russia once banned the study of geometry and astronomy?

Do you know who discovered the length of a cycloid, what year, and for what reason?

To celebrate the history of math and its impact on the world, IBM (NYSE: IBM) has released Minds of Modern Mathematics, an iPad app that re-imagines a classic 50-foot infographic on the history of math.

The app, which can be downloaded from the iPad App Store, is a vintage-meets-digital experience for students, teachers, and tech fans illustrating how mathematics has advanced art, science, music, and architecture.

Originally conceived in 1961 by legendary husband-and-wife design team Charles and Ray Eames, the new digital application reinvents the massive timeline on the history of math from 1000 AD to 1960 that was part of Mathematica: A World of Numbers…and Beyond, IBM’s milestone exhibit at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City.

Users can click through more than 500 biographies, milestones, and images of artifacts culled from the Mathematica exhibit as well as a high-resolution image of the original timeline poster.

The app also includes the “IBM Mathematics Peep Show,” a series of two-minute animated films by Charles and Ray Eames that offer lessons on mathematical concepts, from exponents to the way ancient Greeks measured the earth.

The app was developed by IBM together with the Eames Office – which works to preserve and extend the legacy of the legendary design duo – and is debuting during the centennial year of Ray Eames’ birth.

Mathematics remains essential to IBM’s technological innovation, and the company maintains one of the largest mathematics departments in industry today. The company is anticipating that the app will be used in classroom settings and beyond to spur interest in education and careers around STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

“Careers of the future will rely heavily on creativity, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration – all themes that were core to the Minds of Modern Mathematics movement and remain equally relevant today,” said Chid Apte, director of analytics research and mathematical sciences at IBM. “What better way than a mobile app to reintroduce this timeless classic to inspire a new generation of learners?”

The large-scale mathematics timeline is still on display today at the New York Hall of Science in Queens as well as the Museum of Science in Boston. A smaller, poster-sized version of the timeline also remains on display in many classrooms and museums around the world.

The Minds of Modern Mathematics app was developed by digital agency Euro RSCG 4D.

In case you were wondering, the answer to the first question earlier is the year 1350. The answer to the second question is Christopher Wren in 1676 when he was designing and supervising construction of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Go here for the free download of Minds of Modern Mathematics to learn more.

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