Cover art for podcast The Art of Mathematics

The Art of Mathematics

39 EpisodesProduced by Carol JacobyWebsite

Conversations, explorations, conjectures solved and unsolved, mathematicians and beautiful mathematics. No math background required.

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Math as Art

July 25th, 2022

18:42

Jeanne Lazzarini, a math education specialist, shares the connections between math, such as fractals and the golden ratio, and art. These are …

Exploration in Reading Mathematics

June 22nd, 2022

16:31

Lara Alcock of Loughborough University shares what she learned, by tracking eye movements, about how mathematicians and students differ in the ways they read mathematics. She developed a 10-15 minute exploration …

Games for Math Learning

May 25th, 2022

19:18

Jon Goga, of Brainy Spinach Math, is using the Roblox gaming platform to bring math learning to kids using something they already enjoy. Along the …

The Power of Mathematical Storytelling

April 22nd, 2022

16:04

Sunil Singh, the author of Chasing Rabbits and other books, shares fascinating stories that show mathematics as a universal place of exploration and comfort. Stories of mathematical struggle and discovery in the …

The Mathematical World and the Physical World

March 9th, 2022

11:55

Yusra Idichchou explores the question: Does math imitate life or does life imitate math? We touch on Oscar Wilde, philosophy of both math and language, how formal abstractions can describe the subjective physical world …

Getting Athletes to Think Like Mathematicians

February 9th, 2022

17:27

Caron Rivera, a math teacher at a school for elite athletes, shares how she breaks through the myth of the "math person" and teaches athletes to …

The Art of Definitions

January 12th, 2022

19:34

Brian Katz of CSULB joins us once again to discuss mathematical definitions. Students often see them as cast in stone. Prof. Katz helps them see that they're artifacts of human choices. The student has the power to …

Math Exploration for Kids

December 9th, 2021

17:50

Mark Hendrickson, of Beast Academy Playground, talks about how to bring young kids into the joy, creativity and exploration that mathematicians experience. Kids enjoy art because they are free to try things and shun …

Is Mathematics an Art?

November 10th, 2021

12:10

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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Math as a way of thinking

October 13th, 2021

19:54

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 …

Symmetries in 3 and 4 Dimensions

September 8th, 2021

19:03

Joseph Bennish joins us once again to continue his discussion of symmetry, this time venturing into higher dimensions. We explore the complex …

Symmetry, Shapes and Groups

August 14th, 2021

19:50

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 …

Freshmen and Sophomores Confront Unsolved Problems

July 14th, 2021

18:41

Dana Clahane, Professor of Mathematics at Fullerton College, dispels some of the misconceptions about mathematics and discusses some famous unsolved …

Stereotypes of Mathematics and Mathematicians

June 16th, 2021

18:29

Will Murray, chair of the math department at California State University, Long Beach, discusses popular stereotypes of mathematicians and what they …

Prime numbers and their surprising patterns

June 2nd, 2021

16:35

Joseph Bennish talks about prime numbers, a simple concept with surprising characteristics. Are they regular or random? This takes us into unexpected …

Creativity in Mathematics

May 19th, 2021

18:20

Josh Hallam shares some of the ways he uses story writing and other creative endeavors in his math classes. He also discusses math in popular …

The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics

May 5th, 2021

13:20

Saleem Watson discusses the mysterious way math predicts the natural world. Much of math is invented, and yet there are many examples of cases in which purely abstract math, developed with no reference to the natural …

Alternative Proofs and Why We Seek Them

April 21st, 2021

17:08

Joseph Bennish discusses two famous theorems, proved long ago, and some modern alternative proofs. Why would we bother reproving something that was …

Symmetry--It's More Than You Think

April 7th, 2021

13:37

Scott Crass, Professor of Mathematics at CSULB, expands our vague intuition about symmetry to look at transformations of various kinds and what they …

Is Math Discovered or Invented?

March 24th, 2021

17:21

Saleem Watson, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, CSULB, confronts an ancient mathematical argument. Is math a body of eternal truths waiting for an explorer to uncover them, or an invention or work of art created by …

That's Impossible. Oh, Yeah? Prove It.

March 10th, 2021

16:44

Paul Eklof, Professor Emeritus UCI, discusses the famous impossible straightedge-and-compass constructions of antiquity that have fascinated …

The Joy of Mathematical Discovery

February 24th, 2021

16:35

Joseph Bennish, math professor at California State University, Long Beach, discusses how math is an exploration involving imagination and excitement. …

The Monty Hall Problem

February 10th, 2021

14:26

You are a contestant on Let's Make a Deal, hosted by Monty Hall. There are 3 identical doors. Behind only one is the prize car. You make your choice, then Monty Hall opens one of the other doors to reveal a goat and …

What Is Mathematics? Some Surprising Answers

January 27th, 2021

20:47

Brian Katz, a professor at California State University, Long Beach, approaches math as a philosopher, a linguist and an artist. It is not a science, but a byproduct of consciousness, an expression of humanity and a way …

Being a Mathematician

January 13th, 2021

15:53

We talk with Kathryn McCormick, Assistant Professor at California State University, Long Beach, about why she got into this obscure field, what a mathematician really does, and where we can learn more about being a …

Math Jokes and What They Say about Mathematicians

December 30th, 2020

16:29

There are a lot of jokes that poke fun at mathematicians, how they think and how they fumble around in the real world. Many of them start, "A mathematician, an engineer and a physicist ..."  We'll look at what these …

The Most Famous (Formerly) Unsolved Problem

December 16th, 2020

16:02

Fermat’s Last Theorem is easy to state but has taken over 300 years to prove. Fermat’s supposed “marvelous proof” has been a magnet for crackpots and obsessed mathematicians, leading through a treasure hunt across …

The Mathematics of Art

December 2nd, 2020

14:06

A surprising amount of art is inspired by mathematics. The book Fragments of Infinity describes many works of art and the mathematics behind them. Meet mathematicians who have become artists and artists who have become …

The Real World Is a Special Case

November 18th, 2020

16:01

Abstract math is at once about nothing and about everything. The structures it builds may represent numbers, real world objects, music, or things we can barely imagine. Here we look at group theory for numbers, music, …

How to Find Something You’ve Never Seen

November 4th, 2020

14:25

Another seemingly easy problem that’s hard to solve. In fact, it's unsolved. Find an odd perfect number or prove one doesn’t exist. The search …

Beyond the Third Dimension

October 21st, 2020

13:37

The fourth dimension is a staple of science fiction and the key to relativity. What exactly is it and how can we visualize it? What about higher dimensions?

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One Theorem, 99 Proofs

October 7th, 2020

8:43

Can you really approach one mathematical statement 99 different ways? We review the wonderful book 99 Variations on a Proof. The answer is yes.

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A Beautiful Theorem with an Ugly Proof

September 30th, 2020

12:47

The Four Color Theorem is a pretty little conjecture that has been intriguing mathematicians for more than a century. Too bad the proof stands as an …

To Infinity...and Beyond

September 23rd, 2020

16:53

What is infinity, why does it seem so weird, and can you really go beyond it?

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The Unsolved Is Solved...and Another

September 16th, 2020

11:23

We consider two problems, one in tiling and one in knots. They had each had been unsolved for over 50 years and their solutions hit the popular press …

This Podcast is Lying

September 9th, 2020

15:32

We explore the mind-blowing Liar and related paradoxes and how they changed mathematics

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An Impossible Easy Question

September 2nd, 2020

14:43

Goldbach’s Conjecture and how a statement that is easy to understand is difficult or impossible to resolve

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Everything You Know About Math is Wrong

August 26th, 2020

14:48

We explore some of the common misconceptions about mathematics and mathematicians.

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