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<p class="image-caption"> <span class="credit"> (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceytaylor/1460212593/in/set-72157602762554270/" target="blank" class="external-link">tee-dot/flickr</a>) </span> </p> </div> </li> </ul> <div class="article-description"> <p>In "25 Minutes to Go," Johnny Cash counts down the minutes to his hanging. This precipitates an argument between <strong>Robert</strong> and <strong>Jad</strong> about whether you could live without numbers. Jad introduces his newborn son, <strong>Amil</strong>, and insists that he has no concept of numbers whatsoever. Like father, like son? Producer <strong>Lulu Miller</strong> talks to <a href="http://www.unicog.org/main/pages.php?page=Stanislas_Dehaene" target="blank" class="external-link">Stanislas Dehaene,</a> whose work in neuroimaging suggests that Amil probably does have a number sense. You and I might not even know what logarithmic counting is, but apparently we used it as babies. <a href="http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~lds/index.html?carey.html" target="blank" class="external-link">Susan Carey</a> explains why counting pennies is no small feat. Using an experiment designed by <a href="http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kw77/Biographical_Information.html" target="blank" class="external-link">Karen Wynn</a>, Susan breaks down the trick that separates us from the animal world: the counting song. Producer <strong>Amanda Aronczyk’s</strong> daughter <strong>Mina</strong> demonstrates how complicated this whole penny business really is.</p> </div> <ul class="storylinks"> <li class="first"><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qqGlY0Ueq8&feature=related" target="blank" class="external-link">Johnny Cash, "25 Minutes to Go"</a> </li> <li><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/danesparza/2470988043/" target="blank" class="external-link">photo: flickr/danesparza</a> </li> <li class="last"><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mfr7xG6smhU" target="blank" class="external-link">The Pi Song, by Hard N Phirm</a> </li> </ul>
Tagged with “numbers” (56)
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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?
Episode one of A Further Five Numbers, the BBC radio series presented by Simon Singh.
Literally, the most popular number, as it appears more often than any other number. More specifically, the first digit of all numbers is a 1 about 30% of the time, whereas it is 9 just 4% of time. This was accidentally discovered by the engineer Frank Benford. It works for all numbers – mountain heights, river lengths, populations, etc.
Jeff sits down with Mark Greentree from EverydayMacSupport to talk about Apples iWork and iLife suites. We discuss what each application is, and how it cam be used in the classroom.
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.
Social Security Numbers: Less Boring than You’d Think — Do you know that up until July 2011 an ambitious hacker with a good software program could deduce your social security number based on your date and place of birth? In this episode, the boys examine some of the lesser-known details of the Social Security system in the U.S.
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)
How Zero Works — Few numbers have as storied a past as zero. Even fewer have had as great an impact on our ability to understand our universe. Yet zero is a relatively recent arrival in math. Find out all about this surprisingly fascinating number with Chuck and Josh.
When Daniel Tammet thinks about numbers, each one has a distinct personality. Thirty-seven is lumpy, for example; four is shy. He has a rare form of autism that gives him astonishing mental powers, such as effortlessly calculating huge numbers in his head with the speed of a computer.
Author Daniel Tammet talks about his new book Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant, and his amazing facility with numbers.
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