Cover art for podcast Ten Words

Ten Words

35 EpisodesProduced by Jeremy WaiteWebsite

A weekly show full of BIG ideas, small words and short sentences, featuring people who have changed the world by making complicated things simple. From artists to astronauts, scientists to storytellers, preachers and poets, Ten Words looks at some of the world's most quotable people to discover what… read more




"To achieve good results, work all night and eat soup".


Cedric Villani is the Field's Medal winning maths professor from Paris who changed the world by discovering a new theorem (by accident). He has since dedicated his life to communicating the beauty of mathematics and insists that "to achieve good results, work all night and eat soup".


He is a beautiful person, with a beautiful mind, which I do my best to explore in this episode as I seek to discover the truth behind those ten words. Join me on this voyage of discovery as we seek to understand why math(s) really is "sexy".


This bourbon fueled episode was "slightly longer" than expected because of the various stories I share, here's some timings to help you dig in and out of the podcast depending upon how much time you have. I thought this would be a better solution rather than debating for hours which bits to cut out.


Thank you for listening!



  • 0:00 ~ Intro
  • 4:23 ~ "To achieve good results work all night and eat soup"
  • 8:48 ~ Why is maths sexy?
  • 14:47 ~ Why do people HATE maths?
  • 19:40 ~ The Idea of Creating Something Beautiful
  • 37:30 ~ The Birth of a Theorem
  • 40:00 ~ Maths, Mountains and Music
  • 44:51 ~ How to find your own mountain to climb
  • 54:20 ~ What makes you wake up in the morning?
  • 55:43 ~ Why are  Nobel laureates so good at presenting?
  • 1:00:55 ~ When I failed at Hugo Boss by presenting bad math
  • 1:02:34 ~ How should your office make you feel?
  • 1:04:34 ~ The Gömböc
  • 1:16:59 ~ Why are questions more valuable than the answers?
  • 1:18:25 ~ Cedric's best advice "The Bottom Line"


Cedric Villani with a Gömböc



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