By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The National Museum of Mathematics just north of Madison Square Park (a.k.a. MoMath) celebrated its millionth visitor in one of the mathiest ways possible: with a million-millimeter march. The March began in front of the museum on East 26th Street on 6/6 (June 6) at 6 p.m. in honor of the institution reaching visitor number 10 to the 6th power (also known as one million).
Translated into a more recognizable measure of distance, the March was 0.62 miles throughout the Flatiron District, starting at the museum and heading south to landmarks throughout the neighborhood, including Madison Square Park and the Flatiron building, with signs along the way indicating how many millimeters participants had traveled up to that point.
The march went down Fifth Avenue towards the Flatiron building, around the landmark and looped back up through Madison Square Park, then ended back at the museum on 26th Street.
The various stops along the march were seemingly random numbers to indicate distance but handouts from the museum explained their significance as unique numbers. For example, one designated point was 422,481, which is the smallest number whose fourth power is the sum of three smaller fourth powers: 422,481^4=414,560^4+217,519^4+95,800^4.
The occasion was later celebrated with a party following the walk, with pizza and dancing on the museum’s unique dance floor.