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 Society. Her work, and the exciting story of the path that led to the solution of Hilbert's tenth problem in 1970, produced an unusual friendship between Russian and American colleagues at the height of the cold war. In this film, Robinson's major contribution to the solution of H10 triggers a tour of 20th century mathematics that moves from Paris in 1900, through the United States, to the Soviet Union and back. Following the passionate pursuit of an unsolved problem by several individuals in different countries adds to the emotional intensity of the mathematical quest.

The film covers important events in the history of modern mathematics while conveying the motivations of mathematicians, and exploring the relationship between mathematical research and the development of computers. The key protagonists and advisors to the project are recognized as the most prominent in their fields.

Julia Robinson's story, and the presence of prominent women in mathematics in the film, should inspire young women to pursue educational opportunities and careers in mathematics.

Show More

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…

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…

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:…

I Want To Be A Mathematician - A Conversation with Paul Halmos

A 44-minute interview with mathematician Paul Halmos that touches on the Moore Method, becoming a mathematician, great teachers, designing a course, writing, and the state of education in the United States. The interview conducted in 1999 by Peter Renz and George Csicsery was released by the Mathematical Association of America…

Hard Problems - The Road to the World's Toughest Math Contest

Hard Problems documents the formation of the 2006 U. S. International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) team, showing how high school students are selected, train, and then compete with students from 90 countries in the 2006 IMO. Produced in association with the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), with support from Ellington Management…

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.

Taking the Long View: The Life of Shiing-Shen Chern

Taking the Long View: The Life of Shiing-shen Chern examines the life of a remarkable mathematician whose formidable mathematical contributions were matched by an approach and vision that helped build bridges between China and the West. The biographical documentary follows Shiing-shen Chern through many of the most dramatic events of…

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.

Geometry - An Interactive Journey to Mastery

Inscribed over the entrance of Plato's Academy were the words, "Let no one ignorant of geometry enter my doors." To ancient scholars, geometry was the gateway to knowledge. Its core skills of logic and reasoning are essential to success in school, work, and many other aspects of life. Yet sometimes…

The Bellman Equation - The Mystery of Mathematician Richard Bellman

The Bellman Equation follows director Gabriel Lee Bellman's 13 years of research on his grandfather. As he beings to uncover his grandfather's storied history, Gabriel's relationship with his own father takes an unexpected turn.
One of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century, Mr. Bellman was a pioneer in…

Top Secret Rosies

In 1942 a secret U.S. military program was launched to recruit women to the war effort. But unlike the efforts to recruit Rosie the Riveter to the factory, this clandestine search targeted female mathematicians who would become human 'computers' for the U.S. Army. From the bombing of Axis Europe to…

Log in to your Kanopy account

Create your Kanopy account