UPDATE: Error in Golden Ratio at exhibit? Museum now says it’s right!

In this June 23, 2015, file photo, John Handley High School sophomore Joseph Rosenfeld, poses for a photo at the school in Winchester, Va. Rosenfeld discovered a decades-old math error that had gone unnoticed at the Museum of Science in Boston during a visit. (Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — A Boston science museum that praised a teenager for catching a mistake in the golden ratio at a decades-old exhibit now says it wasn’t an error after all.

The Museum of Science released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying the equation in the 34-year-old “Mathematica exhibit” with minus signs instead of plus signs is actually the “less common – but no less accurate – way to present it.”

The museum had initially written 15-year-old Virginia high school student Joseph Rosenfeld a letter acknowledging the error and saying it would be fixed. He noticed the minus signs June 4 on a family visit to the museum.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Emeritus Arthur Mattuck tells the Boston Globe that the two formulas are equal. He says Joseph presented the fraction upside-down.

Information from: The Boston Globe,http://www.bostonglobe.com

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BOSTON (AP) — A 15-year-old high school student visiting Boston’s Museum of Science has uncovered a math error in the golden ratio at a 34-year-old exhibit.

Virginia resident Joseph Rosenfeld was visiting the museum on a recent family trip when he saw something that appeared wrong with the equation.

Joseph noticed minus signs in the equation where there should have been plus signs. He left a message at the desk and later received a letter from the museum’s exhibit content developer, Alana Parkes, informing him the equation would be corrected.

In this June 23, 2015 photo, John Handley High School sophomore Joseph Rosenfeld, poses for a photo at the school in Winchester, Va. (Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star via AP)
In this June 23, 2015 photo, John Handley High School sophomore Joseph Rosenfeld, poses for a photo at the school in Winchester, Va. (Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star via AP)

Parkes wrote that the mistake had been there for a “very long time” without being noticed.

Joseph tells Boston.com that catching the error was exciting. He hopes to return to the state someday to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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