Mathigon: Mathematics’ Chocolate Factory is The Textbook of the Future

Sunil Singh
4 min readMay 27, 2020

I was around 11 years-old when I first saw the movie Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. I had read the book a year or so earlier. The movie had such an impact on me that it heavily influenced my views on the world — including my smaller world of math education.

The movie was first referenced in an IGNITE Talk, “Mathematics: A Right to Beauty” I did at a math conference in 2015.

Both my books, Pi of Life: The Hidden Happiness of Mathematics and Math Recess: Playful Learning in an Age of Disruption are anchored to the dreamy allusions of Willy Wonka.

It is no coincidence then, that the chocolate factory I pined for as a kid, and wished for as metaphorical construction of math education, is finally being built. Constructed with the same openness, exploration, wonder, awe, and magic that the children in the movie, Augustus, Violet, Mike, Verruca, and Charlie bore witness to.

One of the most iconic moments in film history: the unveiling of the Chocolate Factory to the world.

Mathigon is an equally lush feast for the world of mathematics. Just like Willy Wonka’s factory was playful and interactive, so is the world of Mathigon.

Just a few of the more than 10 Activities on Mathigon

Here is just a tip of the interactive iceberg.

Myriad of Sequences in Pascal’s Triangle
Challenging Factris Game
The Beauty of Chaos

A recent feature added are the rich multiplication flash cards which have multiple, visual representations of numbers. This is a wonderful collaboration between Mathigon and Math For Love.

If you would like to see a more detailed preview, there is 3 minute video tour that takes you through the entire scenic landscape of Mathigon.

Cradling all these interactive immersions into vibrant world of Mathigon are these three key pillars that are essential in how and why our students should learn mathematics.

Not only is Mathigon a stunning illumination of mathematics, it is also FREE.

Being able to access great math resources freely helps make the learning of mathematics more accessible and equitable. That is why I feel like I have a Golden Ticket by working at Mathigon.

The first course that I will be writing, with the help of Phillip Legner, founder and creator of Mathigon, will be this one. It should be available in early 2021.

In so many ways, being able to help create content with such wondrous, interactive tools, is the long childhood journey of trying to live in world of pure imagination. Mathigon is still being built and updated in real time. Courses, activities, and rich historical ideas are constantly being added and promoted on social media(@MathigonOrg).

As mentioned earlier, one of the key beliefs at Mathigon is that the learning of mathematics should sit in compelling narratives for the students. One of the ways that this is addressed is by showing the history of mathematics and embedding it into the Mathigon platform. A poster of the time line — being constantly updated — will be available soon!

Please come and explore the magical mathematical offerings and immersive experiences that await you and your students.

You will find it all scrumdiddlyumptious!