Mathematics are the foundation for almost everything we do, from finance to physics, architecture to astronomy. In The Story of Math
, author and Oxford professor Marcus du Sautoy and other experts crisscross the globe, bringing the colorful history of numbers to life. Du Sautoy’s enthusiasm, energy, and humor make math accessible and fun. Bonus program The Music of the Primes
tackles math’s biggest unanswered question: the pattern in prime numbers. SDH subtitles; 4 episodes; approx. 310 min., including the bonus program on 3 DVDs plus 20-page viewer’s guide. From Athena.
THE STORY OF MATH
Episode 1: The Language of the Universe
Traveling from Mesopotamia to Egypt and then to Greece, Professor du Sautoy shows how mathematics evolved from a practical problem-solver for weights and measures to a truly conceptual science.
Episode 2: The Genius of the East
While Europe languished in the Dark Ages, thinkers in China, India, and the Islamic world pushed mathematical frontiers. Besides giving us the concepts of zero and infinity, they translated geometry into numbers (and back) with trigonometry and provided a mathematical grammar with algebra.
THE STORY OF MATH
Episode 3: The Frontiers of Space
Can mathematics precisely describe a body in motion? To answer that question, Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz independently devised calculus in the 17th century. Over the following 200 years, however, mathematicians began to rethink Euclidian concepts, conceiving of new geometries to describe unseen dimensions.
Episode 4: To Infinity and Beyond
Tackling the great unsolved problems of the 20th century, mathematicians have distinguished between different kinds and sizes of infinities, begun mapping the hidden structures behind numbers and their relationships, and introduced the concepts of chaos and uncertainty into the most exacting of all sciences.
THE MUSIC OF THE PRIMES
Prime numbers inspired the creation of the computer, mirror the behavior of atoms, and drive every online financial transaction today. But their pattern remains a mystery. A renowned institute still offers a $1 million prize to whoever can definitively crack their code. Here, Marcus du Sautoy and his guests explain the search for harmony in these mysterious numbers.
Part 1: Building on a 2,000-year tradition, the 19th-century German mathematician Bernhard Riemann proposed a hypothesis that has since stumped the world.
Part 2: In the 20th century, the attempt to prove the Riemann hypothesis tragically claimed two great minds, G.H. Hardy and Srinivasa Ramanujan.
Part 3: Advances in computer technology and insights into how atoms behave make proving Riemann’s hypothesis seem tantalizingly close, but still elusive.
Oxford professor and winner of the London Mathematical Society’s Berwick Prize, Marcus du Sautoy contributes regularly to The Times and The Guardian (UK), has presented many TV and radio programs, and has authored numerous books, including Symmetry.