NYT - The Mystery of the Menger Sponge QuoteOne of the proposed exhibits for the Museum of Mathematics involves a Menger sponge, a geometric object devised by a mathematician named Karl Menger in 1926. The Menger sponge consists of a cube with square holes, arrayed in a fractal pattern, through the top and the sides. ?It?s a well-known object that people have studied for a long time,? said George Hart, the museum?s chief of content. ?But it?s only recently that anyone thought to slice it in this interesting way.? In the proposed exhibit, a visitor can pull apart the two pieces of the Menger sponge and discover that the holes along the diagonal are not squares, but six-sided stars. "It's like a 'gosh, that's really cool' kind of emotion people have," Dr. Hart said. "It's a very nice example of how mathematics can give you these big surprises." Smaller blocks would help visitors understand what is going on. Along the diagonal, a square hole is stretched into a diamond shape, and the intersection of holes from three directions produces the Star of David shape.