31 episodes

Conversations, puzzles, book reviews, conjectures solved and unsolved, mathematicians and beautiful mathematics. No math background required.

The Art of Mathematics Carol Jacoby

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Conversations, puzzles, book reviews, conjectures solved and unsolved, mathematicians and beautiful mathematics. No math background required.

    Is Mathematics an Art?

    Is Mathematics an Art?

    Joshua Sack, mathematics professor at California State University, Long Beach, explores the breadth of art and mathematics and finds much commonality in patterns, emotions and more.

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    • 12 min
    Math as a way of thinking

    Math as a way of thinking

    Ian Stewart, prolific author of popular books about math, discusses how math is the best way to think about the natural world. Often math developed for its own sake is later found useful for seemingly unrelated real-world problems. A silly little puzzle about islands and bridges leads eventually to a theory used for epidemics, transportation and kidney transplants. A space-filling curve, of interest to mathematicians mainly for being counterintuitive, has applications to efficient package delivery. The mathematical theories are often so bizarre that you wouldn't find them if you started with the real-world problem.


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    • 19 min
    Symmetries in 3 and 4 Dimensions

    Symmetries in 3 and 4 Dimensions

    Joseph Bennish joins us once again to continue his discussion of symmetry, this time venturing into higher dimensions. We explore the complex symmetry groups of the Platonic solids and the sphere and their relationships. We then venture into the 4th dimension, where we see that, with a change to the distance the symmetries are maintaining, we get Einstein's Theory of Relativity.


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    • 19 min
    Symmetry, Shapes and Groups

    Symmetry, Shapes and Groups

    We are all born with an intuitive attraction to symmetry, through human faces and heartbeats. Joseph Bennish, of California State University Long Beach, explores the mathematical meaning of symmetry, what it means for one shape to be more symmetric than another, how symmetries form mathematical groups and groups form symmetries, and hints at implications for Fourier analysis, astronomy and relativity.


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    • 19 min
    Freshmen and Sophomores Confront Unsolved Problems

    Freshmen and Sophomores Confront Unsolved Problems

    Dana Clahane, Professor of Mathematics at Fullerton College, dispels some of the misconceptions about mathematics and discusses some famous unsolved problems that he has freshmen and sophomores working on, learning what math is really about.

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    • 18 min
    Stereotypes of Mathematics and Mathematicians

    Stereotypes of Mathematics and Mathematicians

    Will Murray, chair of the math department at California State University, Long Beach, discusses popular stereotypes of mathematicians and what they do when they do mathematics. Is it all lone geniuses generating big numbers? If so many people dislike mathematical thinking, why is Sudoku so popular?


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    • 18 min

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