Ian Stewart, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick, and highly prolific writer, strongly disagrees with the common view that mathematics is uninteresting, and believes that much of its bad popular reputation is simply based upon a lack of understanding as to what it's really all about.

Running Time

67 mins

Year

2013

Kanopy ID

1131593

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The Joy of Mathematics

Ready to exercise those brain cells? Humans have been having fun with mathematics for thousands of years. Along the way, they've discovered the amazing utility of this field--in science, engineering, finance, games of chance, and many other aspects of life. This course of 24 half-hour lectures celebrates the sheer joy…

N is a Number: A Portrait of Paul Erdös

A man with no home and no job, Paul Erdos was the most prolific mathematician who ever lived. Born in Hungary in 1913, Erdos wrote and co-authored over 1,500 papers and pioneered several fields in theoretical mathematics. At the age of 83 he still spent most of his time on…

Plato's Heaven - A User's Guide with Professor James Robert Brown of the University of Toronto

What do mathematicians actually do? Just move symbols around or search to uncover undying truths? Most mathematicians shy away from addresing the question, but James Robert Brown, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto plunges straight in to describe his implacable Platonist beliefs.

Proofs and Proof Writing

The beauty of geometry is that each result logically builds on the others. Mathematicians demonstrate this chain of deduction using proofs. Learn this step-by-step process of logic and see how to construct your own proofs.

The Classification of Triangles

Continue the work of classification with triangles. Find out what mathematicians mean when they use words like scalene, isosceles, equilateral, acute, right, and obtuse. Then, learn how to use the Pythagorean theorem to determine the type of triangle (even if you don't know the measurements of the angles).

The Geometry of a Circle

Explore the world of circles! Learn the definition of a circle as well as what mathematicians mean when they say things like radius, chord, diameter, secant, tangent, and arc. See how these interact, and use that knowledge to prove the inscribed angle theorem and Thales' theorem.

When Measurement Is Impossible

Prove that some sets can't be measured - a result that is crucial to understanding the Banach-Tarski paradox, the strangest theorem in all of mathematics, which is presented in Lecture 23. Start by asking why mathematicians want to measure sets. Then learn how to construct a non-measurable set.

Solving Sudoku

What's the key to solving Sudoku problems when you're at your wits' end? Training your mind to look for patterns and to use careful logic, just like mathematicians. This episode is packed with helpful techniques and strategies for overcoming even the most difficult Sudoku grids. Among those you'll learn about:…

The Cyclic Universe with Professor Sir Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford

Sir Roger Penrose, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford, is convinced that there is one fundamental problem that is consistently being overlooked in modern cosmological approaches: why did our universe begin in such a particular state of extremely low entropy? His…

Julia Robinson and Hilbert’s Tenth Problem

Julia Robinson, a pioneer among American women in mathematics, rose to prominence in a field where often she was the only woman. Julia Robinson was the first woman elected to the mathematical section of the National Academy of Sciences, and the first woman to become president of the American Mathematical…

porridge pulleys and Pi

A portrait of two very different mathematicians, porridge pulleys and Pi features Fields medalist Vaughan Jones, one of the world's foremost knot theorists and an avid windsurfer, and Hendrik lenstra, a number theorist with a passion for Homer and all things classical. Porridge pulleys and Pi poses the question: how…

The Problems of Physics with Nobel Prize Winner Sir Anthony J. Leggett

In 1987, Sir Anthony J. Leggett, Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, penned The Problems of Physics, acutely highlighting the key foundational problems of the age.We discussed what has changed and what has stayed the same since the publication of this book. Prof. Leggett won the…

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