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Frontline

Harding helps London museum open a gallery dedicated to math

David W. Harding, left, museum director Ian Blatchford and Claudia Harding stand in front of concept designs for the new gallery, along with objects from the museum’s collection.

Mathematics is the lifeblood David W. Harding harnessed to build two very successful hedge fund firms. Through a gift to London's Science Museum, he hopes to raise public appreciation for one of the world's oldest sciences.

A 5 million ($8 million) gift from Mr. Harding, founder, CEO and chairman of London-based Winton Capital Management Ltd., and his wife, Claudia, will be used to refurbish museum space into a permanent mathematics gallery bearing their names.

The gallery will “tell stories that place mathematics at the heart of our lives,” over the past 400 years, according to a Science Museum news release.

Celebrated British architect Dame Zaha Hadid said, in the release, that she designed the gallery to explore “the many influences of mathematics in our everyday lives, transforming seemingly abstract mathematical concepts into an exciting interactive experience.” Ms. Hadid's gallery layout mimics the turbulence field of a 1929-era airplane that will be suspended from the gallery ceiling, according to a blog on the Science Museum's website about the design of the new Harding gallery.

“Mathematics is a fascinating and mysterious but, for some, forbidding subject,” said Mr. Winton, who studied physics before switching his attention to running managed futures hedge funds, in the news release.

“The new gallery (will be) created to convey something of that fascination in a way that will appeal to a wide audience,” he added.

This article originally appeared in the September 15, 2014 print issue as, "5 million + museum = mathematics gallery".