They’re millions of digits long, and it takes an army of mathematicians and machines to hunt them down — what’s not to love about monster primes? Adam Spencer, comedian and lifelong math geek, shares his passion for these odd numbers, and for the mysterious magic of math.
Tagged with “numbers” (25)
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss random and pseudorandom numbers. Randomness will be familiar to anybody who’s bought a lottery ticket or shuffled a pack of cards. But there’s also a phenomenon known as pseudo-randomness –numbers which look random but aren’t. So why are these numbers useful and how can they be generated? Melvyn is joined by Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford; Colva Roney-Dougal, Senior Lecturer in Pure Mathematics at the University of St Andrews; and Timothy Gowers, Royal Society Research Professor in Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
In the 1940s and 1950s, a group of brilliant engineers led by John von Neumann gathered in Princeton, New Jersey with the joint goal of realizing Alan Turing’s theoretical universal machine-a thought experiment that scientists use to understand the limits of mechanical computation. As a result of their fervent work, the crucial advancements that dominated 20th century technology emerged. In Turing’s Cathedral, technology historian George Dyson recreates the scenes of focused experimentation, mathematical insight, and creative genius that broke the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things-giving us computers, digital television, modern genetics, and models of stellar evolution. Also a philosopher of science, Dyson’s previous books include Baidarka, Darwin Among the Machines, and Project Orion. (recorded 3/13/2012)
Join author and journalist Alex Bellos for a surprising and entertaining look at the world of mathematics.
By bringing together history, reportage and mathematical proofs, and covering subjects from adding to algebra, from set theory to statistics, and from logarithms to logical paradoxes, Alex Bellos reveals how mathematical ideas underpin just about everything in our lives.
Join Alex Bellos at the RSA to discover the beauty of mathematical patterns in nature, the peculiar predictability of random behaviour, how to win at the casino, the deep connections between maths, religion and philosophy, and why the best Scrabble players are mathematicians.
Speaker:Alex Bellos, writer, broadcaster and author of Futebol, the Brazilian Way of Life (Bloomsbury, 2002) and Alex’s Adventures in Numberland (Bloomsbury, 2010).
Chair:Matthew Taylor, chief executive, RSA.
Episode two of Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.
Most people’s first slice of Pi is at school where it is generally made palatable as either 3.14 or the fraction 3 1/7. The memory of this number may be fuzzy for those propelled through their Maths GCSE by the power of Casio (where Pi was reduced to a button on the bottom row of the calculator), but the likelihood is they still recall that romanticised notion of a number whose decimal places randomly go on forever. At its simplest, Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. At its most complex, it is an irrational number that cannot be expressed as the ratio of two whole numbers and has an apparently random decimal string of infinite length.
Leonard Mlodinow, of the California Institute of Technology is the author of The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives. His lecture on the subject of randomness was presented by the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario on May 6th, 2009.
Recorded at the London School of Economics.
Speaker: Professor Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Professor of Politics at NYU and Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.
Chair: Professor Richard Steinberg
Stephen J. Dubner | SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner spent more than two years on the New York Times Best Sellers list and sold more than 4 million copies worldwide. The book offered surprising insights into hot-button issues like cheating, crime, parenting, and class consciousness, in a compelling and readable style. Now, with SuperFreakonomics, the "rogue economist” and the award-winning journalist delve into the hidden agendas of all kinds of individuals, and the incentives that drive them. Featuring: Stephen J. Dubner is an author and journalist, formerly a writer and editor for The New York Times Magazine. The author’s Freakonomics blog on the New York Times website receives more than 1 million unique hits each month.
Former child prodigy Terence Tao has become one of the world’s greatest living mathematicians. At 24 he became the youngest person ever appointed full professor at UCLA, and at the tender age of 31 he was awarded mathematics’ highest honour, the Fields Medal.
Back in his childhood home of Australia, he visited the ANU to deliver this fascinating talk about one of his favourite subjects, prime numbers.
Radiolab dedicates this hour to an exploration of numbers. Those pesky little things on the chalkboard. Where do they come from and what do they really do for us? We bring you stories on how they confuse us, connect us, and reveal secrets about us.
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