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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor
- "The only good things I can say are that the other employees are smart, helpful and supportive, and it's a good thing that there's a museum of math at all." (in 4 reviews)
- "Our floor manager and assistant floor manager were, though obviously overworked, incredible and talented; the other docents were very smart and welcoming." (in 3 reviews)
- "Upper management was absolutely horrible, and very out of touch with staff." (in 10 reviews)
- "The management is terrible." (in 6 reviews)
- "When they tried to justify the low pay by saying that it was a unique job opportunity, that was abusive." (in 4 reviews)
- "This is why people are afraid to give advance notice now." (in 3 reviews)
- "minimum wage" (in 3 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
This rating reflects the overall rating of National Museum of Mathematics and is not affected by filters.
- 5.0Mar 27, 2022Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, more than 1 year
-Smart and kind coworkers. -I have learned many things mostly related to mathematics from the museum's events and the smart coworkers. -The museum is actively working on tracking problems and there is progress on some of the issues. -Getting to work directly with the museum's CEO Cindy in multiple occasions is great because she encourages and welcomes input from everyone. -Cindy is very passionate about Mathematics and the museum's mission. -I liked that I got involved in multiple tasks and that made me feel that I am contributing towards the mission of the museum which I believe in and benefited from it myself.
Exempt employment. Understaffed. (I know this issue is being addressed).
- 2.0Jul 12, 2022Interpreter (Docent)Former Employee, less than 1 yearNew York, NY
The people working on the museum floor are great. They are supportive, competent, and friendly. The floor managers especially. No complaints about the people I directly worked with.
There are several points to cover here. 1. The exhibits. At first glance, the exhibits are interesting and show some good mathematics. The reality is that the exhibits are shallow, poorly programmed, and nonfunctional. Taking care of the exhibits is a large part of the job, and explaining to visitors why they don't work is an equally large part. 2. The visitors. This is a customer service job. If you have no problem with that, then you can ignore this point. As I mentioned above, you will be telling visitors very often about why exhibits aren't working. However, even with the functioning exhibits, it can be a struggle to make them seem interesting. 3. Upper management. One of the major reasons that point 1 exists is that upper management is uninterested in fixing problems or improving the museum. Along with that, they are completely out of touch with their employees. They have no understanding of employees' needs or boundaries. The biggest priority is pleasing donors.1
- 5.0Jan 4, 2022Anonymous EmployeeCurrent Employee, more than 5 yearsNew York, NY
- Work with a really great group of people. - Meet/work with some famous mathematicians and authors, while also being invited to attend interesting and eye opening lectures and events. - The Museum is a small non profit, which means your role is versatile. This is a great place to learn a little bit of everything. - During the pandemic, the Museum kept their staff working from home the whole time it was physically closed! I never could have thought I’d be able to work from home in my role. Some staff were provided with new tasks focusing on the Museum’s online events and programs while it was closed. It was so nice having a job during such a weird time. - They look after their staff, especially if you are a reliable employee. They can be very understanding and supportive!
- Some exempt museum staff may potentially have to work a couple of longer days a week sporadically. This is during weeks when there are multiple events occurring.
- 2.0Jul 20, 2022Assistant Floor ManagerFormer Employee
Exhibits are interesting and creative, floor manager is excellent expert in his role, on-site museum staff are intelligent and great collaborators
Management sabotages skilled individuals, micromanaging and creating unnecessary obstacles. Despite hiring highly skilled individuals, said individuals lack the autonomy and power they should have, and instead end up overworked, underpaid, and burnt out8
- 1.0May 20, 2022Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, more than 1 year
MoMath is a cool place with a noble mission. With a public facing position, you will get to teach fun math to motivated people of all ages. It’s a unique teaching opportunity that can be very rewarding. The people that choose to work at MoMath tend to be excellent. My coworkers were immensely intelligent, supportive, and motivated.
The job description for my position at MoMath was so exciting. I had this fancy job title that really made it seem like my role would be important. However, as many others have described here on Glassdoor, the leaders of MoMath micromanage everything. I was never trusted with leadership, I had no agency to create positive change, and there was no delegation or room for personal growth. Whenever I would try to take initiative on a project, it would always be pushed aside for something apparently more urgent. Whenever my team was consulted on anything meaningful, the higher-ups would just completely ignore our input and do something else without an explanation. Meanwhile, there are tons of problems at the museum. The staff is treated horribly, the COVID policy is nebulous, many exhibits are perpetually broken, and the marketing needs serious improvement—I can’t tell you how many times we’d work tirelessly to prepare something, only for them to barely advertise it and have like two people show up. The people who run this place are so concerned with making MoMath LOOK like a functioning museum that they’re unable to actually help it become one. It can be hard to explain sometimes, but working here is just so draining. There are so many frustrating and mismanaged aspects of this job that quickly add up to an overall miserable experience. I came in with so much enthusiasm for working here, and I really thought I could help this place be better, but instead I was pushed aside and treated like I was replaceable. Unfortunately, working here falls short of its potential in almost every way.6
- 2.0Jan 20, 2022Great Museum, Negative ManagementFormer Employee, more than 1 yearNew York, NY
Smart and unique mission attracts talented staff. People in the math community respect the work that this museum does and there are many well regarded mathematicians and other professionals of other backgrounds associated with this work. Many people have contributed to this museum’s founding and growth over the past 10 years.
The fact is that although a team of many committed people over the years built the museum, the work environment is polluted by toxic, hostile micromanagement. The micromanagement culture is rooted in the dominant style of the CEO, who started at the museum as a founding volunteer and aggressively and skillfully worked her way up to the Executive Director position. Staff are bullied and project management that should be delegated is bottlenecked, often creating unnecessary frenzy. Some people thrive on this kind of tension, but it’s ultimately not a healthy situation. Dating back to the museum's founding, staff members have documented and reported similar patterns of hostile workplace situations. The CEO is known to consider every staff member a direct report, and many staff members are confused and unnerved when they first realize that she monitors email traffic, or when she sends long strings of texts with work requests to their personal cellphones (bypassing their managers). Although there are other senior managers on staff, the CEO is so deeply involved in all aspects of the museum that her own management tactics infuse all museum projects. It is standard for the CEO to undercut her management team. In the both the math community and the museum community, the management problems at the museum are an elephant in the room. People respect the work that is being done. The skillset of the CEO is in her knowledge of the museum's founding and its history, her networking, and her ability to create opportunities for people to hold programs at the museum. It's understandable and smart that people in the math and museum community would want to benefit from this. Less understandable is why the board of directors, who could compel change in the workplace culture, would reward Cindy Lawrence's accomplishments without actively addressing the very obvious and well-documented bullying tactics she inflicts on her staff. I don't understand how board members can be comfortable with Cindy representing a project the explicit motto of which is to serve as a place for people to feel welcome and have fun. The people who are hired to work at the museum are by and large smart, talented, creative people committed to work at nonprofit salary levels for something they really believe in. They join the museum open to giving everything a chance. These are not the characteristics of people who tend to have axes to grind. The trend of former staff members repeatedly writing reviews with similarly negative employment experiences is indicative of a problem.9
- 3.0Dec 30, 2021Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee
Sook is a fair and kind boss. He positively impacted the work environment.
The executive leadership represents the old guard of mathematics professionals. I would love to see more people of color and women featured in MoMath's governance, event programmings, and the gallery exhibits.1
- 1.0Feb 24, 2022Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, less than 1 year
If you've read the previous reviews here like I have many many times, you will notice often that the ONLY pro is the employees that are hired at this museum. They are the best of the best, sweet, genuine, intelligent, incredible at their work.
before continuing, you need to see this: google search Sam Shah Concerns About MoMATH After you're done looking at that, I want to highlight that the fact that there is a MANIFESTO written against a small nonprofit by five highly educated employees is NOT NORMAL. Nothing in the letter has been addressed. The major themes of the other reviews on this page (micromanagement, bottlenecks, high standards despite no progress, CEO tax fraud, WAGE THEFT, unpaid interns) have not been addressed. The five-star reviews of january 4th 2021 and a few years back are so clearly fake that it's laughable. If you're surprised that a seemingly innocent museum is that petty, just believe me. The bad reviews here are deeper than just annoyance. They are the product of almost ten years of top-down corruption in the management of this museum. It's a long shot, but if the trustees finally look at glassdoor, I am begging you to fire Cindy Lawrence and redo the whole museum because she has created a genuinely harmful work environment. I'm not going to list the minutiae of my day to day work grievances because I don't believe Cindy will change her management style after ten years and 43 reviews that say the same thing. All I'm going to do is put here what this job made me feel, if it can save one person from working at this hellscape. People told me my workplace was toxic after about a month working remotely, overhearing my zoom calls. My friends said it, my mom said it, my dad found the manifesto linked above. I don’t remember a single person thinking, after hearing about my work, that I should stay. They noted the lack of organization of my assignments and the demeaning and patronizing tone of managers. Looking back after leaving, I realized that Momath twisted my reality. When they tried to justify the low pay by saying that it was a unique job opportunity, that was abusive. That was them saying that I don't need to live a financially stable life because I am lucky to give labor to a quirky institution. When they took weeks to hire me, write an additional essay aside from a cover letter and resume just to get that perfect fit candidate? Completely unnecessary because Momath will never be the right place for a human to work. Their lack of transparency and policy? Abusive. That was them saying that I don't get to know why things are done here. When they told me I need to keep my work to myself and not associate with other employees because their work was more boring and they would get jealous? I don't even know what manipulation tactic to classify this as besides the biggest red flag imaginable. When I tried to go straight to the source, I was told I can't talk to Cindy directly because it's just not polite, and therefore I can walk on eggshells around management with the fear of being chastised like a child for violating a rule that was never mentioned before. I regret the time I spent at momath, and I'm never going to get that time back. I am still healing from the effects this job had on me. Because of momath, It is difficult to convince myself that I am deserving of simple human rights like good healthcare, guilt free time off, psychological peace, workplace friendships, and financial stability. Working here is submitting yourself to psychic damage. The slow progression of all projects, the constant bottlenecks from cindy and pointless admin meetings, the dead-endedness of everything I did there, sucked the life out of what started out as an exciting role. It made me feel like the whole world might be like this, that maybe jobs in general are like this, that life would be like this forever. That's the harm in working here, especially if this is your first job. I could see flickers of sadness in my coworkers. They were depressed and taken advantage of. I wish I had the confidence to stay and fight management, but I was in such a bad place when I left that I just needed momath to be out of my life. When I left, it was unceremonious. There was no announcement of my leaving, despite my enormous contribution to the museum. Management hid from me and avoided calling or any form of face-to-face contact. I received an email from them a few months later asking if i could send my ID back to them. The ID is actually just a piece of construction paper that has my name on it and the momath logo. It sometimes gets you into museums for free if you show it upon entry, or if you show your letter of employment. That email might have been the most insulting part of my entire experience. To anyone who is currently working at momath and wondering if you'll have the same experience as me if you want to leave: you probably will. Cindy lawrence is emotionally stunted and doesn’t handle being challenged well. She doesn’t care for her employees and quite literally called one of them a “stray” that she accepted off the street. She will trash talk you when you leave, and/or if you ask for a raise. It's not a reflection of you. To anyone considering working here: save yourself before it's too late15
- 1.0Feb 5, 2022ManagerFormer EmployeeNew York, NY
I met some wonderful people while working here.
This organization feels like a small business owned and personally run by the CEO. And not in a homey way. I’d compare it to a chef-run restaurant. At the crack of dawn the CEO picks out the produce, then she dictates not only the menu but how the menu should be laid out in InDesign, then she tells the sommelier how to do pairings, follows that up with firing a few servers for having conversations in the kitchen, tells the hostess to Google a wide variety of ice cube trays and make a spreadsheet about it, criticizes the spreadsheet and selects which ice cube trays are best, and then turns on a new persona when the money walks in (especially if the money is also a “name”). I mean, that’s really how it is. If you’re like me and you can learn from a variety of situations, you may get something out of it. I met a lot of cool people. But I’m not really sure that my background and education were utilized. I’m absolutely sure the CEO, who makes all decisions, didn't give a care in the world about my career. I worked here for awhile and always felt like I was paying dues. It was a shock to me when I took another job and was asked about my opinions and my aspirations. When I worked at the museum, it really seemed like the very few times I was asked for my opinion or input, it was in order to tick off a management to-do list, and was generally for something inconsequential. Such as selecting paper clip colors: do you prefer the red or the blue? Your opinion matters! And I would complete significant work and I would receive praise, but it would be for something like Scotch tape placement on a presentation kit, rather than for high attention to detail and management of multiple moving parts of a project, which there always would be. I literally once worked overtime for days in a row and in a staff meeting that week was praised for scanning some documents. I’m not making this up. In front of all of my coworkers, the very week I'd just executed a variety of multi-faceted project management tasks, the CEO announced that we absolutely couldn’t have done what we did without me scanning those documents. Which was true, and maybe it sounds like the praise was for my willingness to do excellent document scanning, but that was really the only time my work was specifically acknowledged in front of my colleagues, and scanning documents was obviously not the substantive part of my workload. The only time I received positive feedback for anything substantive about my work, it was in private messages, and it wasn’t super thoughtful or insightful, it was more like of the over-the-top exclamation point variety. None of those comments ever made it in front of my colleagues. I had good relationships with my colleagues and people treated me like they heard I was doing great work, but I never made it to the select few whose work was substantively acknowledged, and I almost fell off my chair when at a full staff meeting my next boss credited me with the execution of a major program within a month of my hiring. My jaw dropped and I was so stunned that I was afraid that I looked sort of like mock-humble, like me thinks she doth protest too much kind of humble, and I hoped my response lag would be taken for Zoom delay. In any case, I think that the CEO superficially "asks opinions" and "provides positive (albeit ridiculous) feedback" in order to tick off boxes on her management to-do list. I don't think there's any possible way that upper management of an organization can receive the level of negative feedback she has and not be pressured by the board to follow some basic management guidelines, which she then does in a way that's essentially a joke. Actually, in addition to the one staff meeting acknowledgment of my fully loaded document scanning skills, I recall that I was praised once in front of a visiting guest. I was introduced to him as “and this is our Amazing” So-and-So and I was like, wow, how nice, okay. Two minutes later I find that the visiting guest rightly assumes that, as Amazing So-and-So, I must be the person of whom to ask a variety of relevant questions. Wasn’t he shocked to learn that, despite the introduction, I didn’t have the authority to respond to his inquiries, as almost no one has authority aside from the CEO herself. So, in this case, I found that my one introduction as “Amazing So-and-So” was an Amazing Temporizing Tactic to deflect some questions that the CEO probably didn’t have time at the moment to handle herself, and I would essentially just have to email her with my questions, like some kind of administrative relay. In terms of ticking off the management to-do box of asking me about my aspirations, that never happened once. I noticed when I was interviewed that it didn’t happen, as it sometimes does in an interview, but I couldn’t believe it never happened while I was actually on staff, despite positive performance assessment. I also noticed when I was interviewed that there’s not a page on the website that identifies staff. I thought that was weird and possibly not a great sign, but I disregarded it. In the future, if I notice that an organization does not identify staff, I won't disregard that and will consider it suspicious. As soon as I was hired at the museum, I felt that I was treated like it was Year Zero and I’d entered the place without any background. And not only did I bring background and education, but also the role requirements had specified particular background and education. I was treated practically like an intern, and I’d entered a workplace of suspicion and lack of transparency between departments, very challenging to get a lay of the land and feel grounded. The job responsibilities I was hired for were not all given to me, and the sort of introductory/nightmare-honeymoon phase never ended, as others on this site have described. In the course of business, if the CEO noticed I showed strength in a particular area, I would find myself presented with duties in that area. That’s not entirely a poor management strategy, to make the most of your staff’s talents, but the two issues I have with it are: A) I don’t believe it’s ethical to require regular tasks of staff that are disproportionately outside the job description for which they were hired, and to assess them for tasks and a schedule they weren’t fairly signed up for, and B) this isn’t a case of rewarding work with new opportunities, it is a clear case of taking advantage of staff whenever wherever and however possible. I was dumped with a workload that should have been spread across multiple positions, and this wasn't done with an associated opportunity to grow into a new (preferable) position, despite huge increases in responsibility without discussion. It wasn't a mystery. Many of the increases in my responsibilities (including unbelievable overtime) were in congress with other people quitting or being fired from the museum, and positions being vacant for long periods of time. I’d hoped to move out of my role, but I was treated on a daily basis like I had the good fortune of holding a dream job and should be sure to keep it. There was a message from upper management that the museum is an incredibly special place, it’s a demanding place to work, and the reason for the turnover and complaints is just because very few people can ultimately hack it. As soon as someone left, the CEO would drop comments about that person’s weaknesses. After a certain time passed, I told myself that my work would surely be rewarded with a preferred position if I just gamely stuck it out for a while and pretended it was okay. My advice to anyone in a similar situation would be to get out of that kind of situation as soon as you realize you’re being taken advantage of, because there are some things that can’t be reasoned through and won’t change.6
National Museum of Mathematics Reviews FAQs
National Museum of Mathematics has an overall rating of 2.2 out of 5, based on over 55 reviews left anonymously by employees. 28% of employees would recommend working at National Museum of Mathematics to a friend and 20% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has improved by 2% over the last 12 months.
28% of National Museum of Mathematics employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated National Museum of Mathematics 2.2 out of 5 for work life balance, 2.4 for culture and values and 2.1 for career opportunities.