The Story of Math

The Story of Math

How Numbers Explain Our Universe and Reveal Unseen Worlds

DVD - 2009
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Disc 3. Episode 3. Many consider Alan Turing to be the father of computer science--mainly because of his cryptography machine, which cracked the German code during World War II. But Turing created his device before the war--not for military purposes, but in the hope of disproving the Riemann hypothesis. This program gives an account of Turing's unresolved zeta function research, the tragic conclusion of his life, and his legacy in the mathematical community--highlighted by a visit to Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies. Interviews with some of today's prominent mathematicians reveal tantalizing notions about the future of the Riemann hypothesis.
Disc 3. Episode 2. With the advent of Bernhard Riemann's zeta-hypothesis, the study of prime numbers took on astonishing new dimensions--including a way to predict the appearance of primes. This program focuses on the numerical landscape which Riemann's calculations opened up and examines the work of subsequent mathematicians who challenged the notion of a finite set of prime numbers. Using 3-D animation, the film guides viewers through the zero-punctuated pattern that Riemann unveiled. It also describes the friendship between G. H. Hardy and Srinivasa Ramanujan and the difficulties both men experienced as they confronted problems in number theory.
Disc 3. Episode 1. The special characteristics of prime numbers have intrigued and confounded mathematicians since ancient times. Outlining the basics of primes--including their unique multiplicative properties and their supposedly random appearance in the number line--this program details the early history of prime number theory, beginning with discoveries that took place in the Hellenistic world. The film illustrates how the torch of Euclid's work passed to 18th- and 19th-century Europeans, exploring Carl Friedrich Gauss' groundbreaking work in the prediction of prime numbers and introducing Bernhard's Riemann's revolutionary zeta function.
Disc 3. The music of the primes : math's greatest riddle, math's greatest minds. Are prime numbers truly random or do they follow some hidden pattern? That mystery has confounded mathematicians for centuries. Based on the best-selling book by Oxford mathematics professor Marcus du Sautory, this three-part series features fascinating stories of great mathematicians--including Carl Friedrich Gauss, Bernhard Riemann, G. H. Hardy, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and Alan Turing--who have grappled with the enigma of prime numbers. Hosted by du Sautory and filmed on location in Athens, Cambridge, Princeton, and other focal points of mathematics history.
Disc 2. To infinity and beyond. Professor Marcus du Sautoy addresses mathematical advances of 20th-century Europe and America. Topics include Georg Cantor's exploration of the concept of infinity; chaos theory, formulated by Henri Poincaré; Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorems; the work of André Weil and his colleagues with algebraic geometry; and the influence of Alexander Grothendieck, whose ideas have influenced mathematical thinking about the hidden structures behind all mathematics. The program concludes by considering one of the great as-yet-unsolved problems of mathematics: the Riemann Hypothesis.
Disc 2. The frontiers of space. By the Scientific Revolution, great strides had been made in understanding the geometry of objects fixed in time and space; the race was now on to discover the mathematics of objects in motion. Professor Marcus du Sautoy investigates mathematical progress during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries in Europe. Topics include the linking of algebra and geometry by René Descartes; the properties of prime numbers, discovered by Pierre Fermat; Isaac Newton's development of calculus; Leonhard Euler's development of topology; the modular arithmetic of Carl Friedrich Gauss; and the insights of Bernhard Riemann into the properties of objects.
Disc 1. The genius of the East. During Europe's Middle Ages, mathematics flourished primarily on other shores. This program follows Professor Marcus du Sautoy as he discusses mathematical achievements of Asia, the Islamic world, and early-Renaissance Europe. Topics include China's invention of a decimal place number system and the development of an early version of sudoku; India's contribution to trigonometry and creation of a symbol for the number zero, as well as Indians' understanding of the concepts of infinity and negative numbers; contributions of the empire of Islam, such as the development of algebra and the solving of cubic equations; and the spread of Eastern knowledge to the West through mathematicians like Leonardo Fibonacci.
Disc 1. The language of the universe. Professor Marcus du Sautoy explores mathematical milestones of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece. Topics include Egypt's unusual method of multiplication and division, as well as Egyptians' understanding of binary numbers, fractions, and solids such as the pyramid; Babylon's base-60 number system--the foundation of minutes and hours--and Babylonians' use of quadratic equations to measure land; and the contributions of four of Greece's mathematical giants: Plato, Euclid, Archimedes, and Pythagoras.
Discs 1-2. The story of maths. Without mathematics, there would be no physics, chemistry, or astronomy. No architecture. No commerce. No accurate maps or precise time-keeping, therefore no dependable long-range navigation. No geometry, statistics, or calculations of any kind. No computers. In this four-part series, University of Oxford Professor Marcus du Sautoy takes viewers on a journey through the ages and around the world to trace the development of mathematics and see how math has shaped human civilization.
Publisher: Silver Spring, MD : Athena : Distributed exclusively by Acorn Media U.S., [2009]
ISBN: 9781598283563
Characteristics: 3 videodiscs (ca. 310 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 viewer's guide (17 p.)
Call Number: DVD 510.9 STO


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kevfarley Mar 18, 2014

Very interesting, if not always comprehensible (to me). The non-European contributions were an eye-opener ! The cinematography and travel footage is excellent !
The host/writer is wonderful,.. and imparts his enthusiasm, excitement, and love for the subject. (But many of the explanations seemed to be for those who already know about the different fields of mathametics !?)

Feb 19, 2014



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