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.
Tagged with “numbers” (23)
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.
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.
Episode five of A Further Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.
Curious properties sometimes lurk within seemingly undistinguished numbers. 1729 sparked one of maths most famous anecdotes: a young Indian, Srinivasa Ramanujan, lay dying of TB in a London hospital. G.H. Hardy, the leading mathematician in England, visited him there. "I came over in cab number 1729," Hardy told Ramanujan. "That seems a rather dull number to me."
"Oh, no!" Ramanujan exclaimed. "1729 is the smallest number you can write as the sum of two cubes, in two different ways." Most of us would use a computer to figure out that 1³ + 12³ = 9³ + 10³ = 1729. Ramanujan did it from his sickbed without blinking.
Episode four of A Further Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.
Newton’s equation of gravity included a number G, which indicates the strength of gravitation. It took 100 years before the shy Englishman Henry Cavendish (he left notes for his maids because he was too shy to talk to women) measured G to be 6.67 x 10^-11 Nm²/Kg². It allowed him to weigh the Earth itself. There has been an ever-greater desire to measure this number with accuracy, which even implied an antigravity at times. How did we measure this tiny number and what does it mean for the universe? The Astronomer Royal Martin Rees explains that a large value for G would mean that stars would burn too quickly and a low value would mean that the stars would not form in the first place, so is G perfectly tuned for life? Is God a mathematician?
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