Welcome to the new Cycle of Mathematics mini-series from Relatively Prime. In this mini-series we will be covering mathematics from its start as an idea to its publication to it inspiring the cycle to start anew.

In this first episode we bring to you the story of the ground breaking small-world network research of Duncan Watts and Steven Strogatz which spawned the mathematical discipline of network theory. This work was published in Nature in 1998 in a paper title **Collective dynamics of ‘small-world’ networks**. In order to tell this tale Samuel spoke with Duncan themself to get the inside story on where the idea came from, the process of the research, and why Duncan had to bring extra calling cards on a trip to Catalonia.

Stayed tuned for next month’s entry in the Cycle of Mathematics mini-series which will be all about the behind the scenes of mathematical publication.

]]>As this is being written there is around 18 hours left in the final match of the Aperiodical’s Big Internet Math Off between Matt Parker and Dr. Nira Chamberlin. In honor of the final Samuel got on the phone and talked with the creator of the Math Off Christian Lawson-Perfect about where the idea came from and what it has been like to run. Samuel also got a hold of Dr. Nira Chamberlin who was kind enough to take carve out some time from a busy schedule at a new job to take a call from Samuel to discuss what it has been like to take part and make it to the final of the Math Off.

UPDATE!

After the episode originally went out Samuel was able to get in touch with Matt Parker for a discussion of Matt’s unique strategy in the competition and why breaking voting systems can be fun.

Please enjoy this episode, and make sure to hurry up and vote in the final match of the Big Internet Math Off.

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Sadly Samuel did not make it to the final round of The Aperiodical’s Big Internet Math Off, but lucky for y’all in a fit of profound arrogance, as well as trying to deal with some potential scheduling issues which could have accompanied victory, they had already made all of their entries. Instead of letting them languish in the dust bin of mathematical communication history Samuel has decided to release them anyway.

This would-be final entry is all about checkers, well checkers and AI and hubris and death and rivalry and the devil’s work. In fact this is really a re-airing of the Series 1 episode Chinook which Samuel will happily tell you is the greatest story they have ever had the story to tell.

Here is the description from the originally episode’s post:

You may not think of checkers as an important game intellectually. It certainly has never had the cachet of chess. That did not stop it from becoming the obsession of the University of Alberta computer science professor for nearly two decades and the center of one of the most ambitious Artificial Intelligence projects ever undertaken. This is their story.

Jonathan Schaeffer is a Computer Science Professor at the University of Alberta where he is also the current Dean of the Faculty of Science.

Download the Uncut Jonathan Schaeffer Interview

Chinook is the greatest checkers player in the world, in fact it is impossible to beat. The product of an 18 year project in computer artificial intelligence, Chinook represents one of the greatest breakthroughs in computer game playing and was the first machine to ever hold a human world championship.

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]]>Sadly Samuel did not make it to the semi-final round of The Aperiodical’s Big Internet Math Off, but lucky for y’all in a fit of profound arrogance, as well as trying to deal with some potential scheduling issues which could have accompanied victory, they had already made all of their entries. Instead of letting them languish in the dust bin of mathematical communication history Samuel has decided to release them anyway.

This would-be semi-final entry is all about Gerrymandering. It features interviews taken from two different episodes, Mathematistan from the second season and Re District from the third. Check out those episodes to find out more about the guests and their work.

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Listen to the original episodes

Mathematistan

Re District

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]]>Sadly Samuel did not make it to the second round of The Aperiodical’s Big Internet Math Off, but lucky for y’all in a fit of profound arrogance, as well as trying to deal with some potential scheduling issues which could have accompanied victory, they had already made all of their entries. Instead of letting them languish in the dust bin of mathematical communication history Samuel has decided to release them anyway.

This would-be second round entry is all about William Rowan Hamilton, quaternions, and the walk in their honor. It includes a beautiful song by Jess Charlton.You can hear the PRX STEM Story Project funded piece some of the tape was originally gathered for here.

Don’t forget to vote in the second round of The Big Internet Math Off even though Samuel is not in it.

All the apologies to Lin-Manuel.

Music and Effects:

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It is time for you to vote for Samuel in the first round of the 1st ever Aperiodical.com Big Internet Math Off!

In the first round Samuel is facing off against Paul Taylor, and they need y’all’s help to win. Head over to the match page and vote for Samuel so they can tell y’all about what an Irish bridge, graffiti, and the letters i, j, and k have to do with getting to the moon in the second round.

For their first round entry Samuel shares with you the story of why your, well not you wise, beautiful listener but definitely for everyone you know, their friends have more friends than they do and how this paradox can help fight epidemics. If after listening you want to find out more about why your friends have more friends than you do you can read Scott’s paper and check out Nicholas’s work or you can listen below to the season one RelPrime episode a longer version of this story was in. Samuel also wrote an expository piece about the friendship paradox for Second-Rate minds you might want to check out.

Longer Version from Season 1

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]]>On this month’s episode of Relatively Prime we are excited to bring to you the story of Girls Talk Math. Girls Talk Math is a 2 week mathematics camp for high school women, as well as a podcast made by the campers about women from the history of mathematics. Samuel spoke with the founders Francesca Bernardi and Katrina Morgan about where the idea came from, why they decided to include podcasting as part of the camp, and the ways they reached out beyond the typical women you would expect to want to attend a summer mathematics camp. You can see how you can get involved here.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and help Samuel survive the month!

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts or RSS

Girls Talk Math Episodes Featured:

Grace Hopper

Suchitra Sebastian

Joan Birman

This month’s Relatively Prime is all about classification. Samuel is joined by Fabian Müller of zbMath for a discussion of the Mathematics Subject Classification, the benefit of using a hierarchical scheme to organize mathematics, and the work Fabian is doing to help revise MSC as a part of MSC 2020. This is a really important work which effects your ability to search and find the mathematical work you are need, so please think about taking part.

To read more about the MSC 2020 revision, check out this article from Nature

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and help Samuel survive the month!

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Many thanks must go to Bree Prehn for no particular reason for this episode.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and help Samuel survive the month!

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On this episode so Relatively Prime Samuel talks with former office mate at UNLV Cody Palmer. When this conversation was recorded Cody was a PhD student at the University of Montana and has since moved on to become a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Institute for Disease Modeling. Samuel and Cody talk about the research Cody did into Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever and how the number of relapses effect its dynamics, plus some advice on burger toppings and the worst(or the best) research strategy to use when studying an infectious disease spread by biting insects.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and help Samuel survive the month!

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Samuel has been feeling a bit nostalgic recently and was thinking about an old show we can almost guarantee you have never heard of, called Science Sparring Society. It was all based around this idea that from a Frank Swain tweet to make a podcast that told the stories of fights from the history of science. It was so much fun making this show, and Samuel was always sad that more people did not get the chance to hear it. Which is exactly why this episode features the two mathematical fights from the 2012 podcast Science Sparring Society. Thankfully the topics were history already when the show first came out.

Episode 1:

The first fight to be featured in the Science Sparring Society is between the two biggest intellectual heavyweights of the late 17th Century, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz. Their battle over the Calculus was so epic they call it a war!

Episode 7:

For the seventh bout we bring to you the fight of infinity. Pitting two of the greatest mathematical minds of their generation against one another, the fight over infinity changed the face of mathematics itself. In the corner of multiple infinities was Georg Cantor and fight for the finite was Leopold Kronecker. You will have to listen to find out who won, and who hits below the belt.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and give Samuel the best present ever!

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For the rest of the fights from the Science Sparring Society you can head here, or check out this playlist:

Music:

Liverpool Guitar Society

DJlo

CameronMusic

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We are happy to bring to you a special holiday episode of Relatively Prime during this festive period. Samuel is joined by old pals Katie, Peter, and Christian from the Aperiodical for an often funny, sometimes serious, and always entertaining conversation about the phenomenon of formulas for “The Perfect X” which are often seen in newspapers, especially around the holidays. Some of the examples discussed were the perfect Christmas song, perfect Christmas tree, perfect penalty kick, perfect scone cream ratio, perfect Christmas day, and here are plenty of other ones too that the Aperiodical has gathered. Happy Holidays!!!

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and give Samuel the best present ever!

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It is that time of year where you, and everyone else, is coughing and sniffling and sneezing and generally getting gross germs all over the place. That is why for this episode of Relatively Prime Samuel Hansen speaks with Benjamin Morin about infectious disease modeling and the best mitigation strategies those models indicate to deal with disease while minimizing cost, both for individuals and for societies. Fair warning, those best strategies may be depressing and definitely not what Samuel was hoping for.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month.

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Sure DNA is important, some might even claim it is absolutely integral to life itself, but does it contain any interesting math? Samuel is joined by UC-Davis Professor of Mathematics, Microbiology, and Molecular Genetics Mariel Vazquez for a discussion proves conclusively that mathematically DNA is fascinating. They talk about the topology of DNA, how knot theory can help us understand the problems which occur during DNA replication, and how some antibiotics are really pills of weaponized mathematics.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month.

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Have you ever wondered what mathematicans’ favorite theorems were? How about what food or music pairs perfectly with those theorems? Well whether your answer to those questions was yes or no or what are you talking about there is a new mathematics podcast on the scene you need to check out called My Favorite Theorem.

My Favorite Theorem is the brain child of Kevin Knudson and Evelyn Lamb. You may recognize those names as a writer who contributes to The Conversation, Forbes, and is a mathematics professor at the University of Florida and as freelance mathematics journalist who runs the Scientific American blog Roots of Unity. They were kind enough to talk to me early in the morning about where the idea for the show came from, why the pairings are so cool, and how mathematical audio can help humanize mathematicians. Oh, and I make them come up with a pairing for our conversation. Plus, as a super special bonus they were kind enough to let me share episode 3 of My Favorite Theorem with Emille Davie Lawrence as part of the episode. I know you will soon have another podcast added to you subscription list.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month.

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Mathematics has been showing up in the news a lot more than usual lately. It has shown up in Slate, The New York Times, and The New Yorker and each time it has been accompanied by one other word, gerrymandering. While Relatively Prime has covered gerrymandering once before in the season 2 episode Mathematistan(a story we just rereleased as an encore presentation in the feed so y’all can get a refresher on the mathematics of gerrymandering) so many important new things have been happening recently it seemed very important to talk about it again.

The first interview in this episode is with Eric McGhee, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, who developed a new test for gerrymandering called the Efficiency Gap which takes into account wasted votes. Eric’s work on the Efficiency Gap with his research partner Nicholas Stephanopoulos was integral to the argument in Gail v. Whitford the Wisconsin gerrymandering case going before the Supreme Court this October.

Samuel is then joined by Moon Duchin, a mathematics professor at Tufts University. Moon is the head of the new Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group. They are all about intersection of mathematics, technology, and redistricting. One of their big focuses is a series of conferences, the first one in Boston just recently took place, where they have a couple of days of public lectures and panels and then private workshops where they train PhDs to be expert redistricting witnesses and consultants, provide mathematical educators with tools to integrate gerrymandering into their curriculums, and hold a hackathon to develop tools for analyzing redistricting plans. Future conferences are coming up in WIsconsin, North Carolina, and Texas.

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Gerrymandering – the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.

Few aspects of politics are as clearly open to mathematical analysis as gerrymandering. Just looking at district maps seems to scream for geometric analysis, and there really are a lot of different tests out there. Samuel spoke to David Austin about some potential gerrymandered districts and ways to test for them, then things got a bit bizarre. Samuel also sat down with Jonathan Hodge to talk about a technique Hodge helped develop to test for gerrymandering called the Convexity Coefficient.

Not all of the ways to test for possible gerrymandering rely on geometry. Duke University Professor Jonathan Mattingly and his former student Christy Vaughn, she is currently a graduate student at Princeton, decided to use probability theory to check to see if the districts used in North Carolina’s 2012 elections had been drawn fairly. The results were eye opening.

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]]>On this episode of Relatively Prime is the other panel Samuel hosted at the 2017 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta. This panel was called Outside the Equation and focused on mathematical communication outside of the typical, i.e. writing and lecture. The panel consisted of three Relatively Prime guests you already know and love: Tim Chartier, the mathematical mime, Anna Haensch, the co-host of The Other Half podcast, and Robert Schneider, singer, songwriter, and guitarist behind Apples in Stereo. If you want to know how mathematical mime goes over at a Renaissance fair or how mathematicians react to an NPR piece on Poincare conjecture or hear a logarithmic scale as played on a marimba stop reading this and press play now.

If you want to hear a story featuring Samuel and an editor and number systems you must become a patron on Patreon and then you will get bonus audio for every episode, including the full audio of the Outside the Equations panel.

Many thanks to the MAA, AMS, and Atlanta for the JMM where this panel was taped and to all the math loving people who came out to see it in person.

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]]>Mathematics is not always the easiest thing to talk or write about, especially when the audience is not other mathematicians. This doesn’t mean talking about math is impossible though, just that it takes some experience and maybe some tricks. Of course that leaves a very clear question: What are these tricks and how can I get this experience? In order to answer just this question Samuel gathered together mathematical communicators Dana Mackenzie, Beth Malmskog, and Colin Adams back in January 2017 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings for the panel “What We Talk About When We Talk About Mathematics”, and in this episode of Relatively Prime you will hear from the panel.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month. Plus, you can get access to the RelPrime bonus feed and hear the panel in its entirety.

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There are stories all the time about race and policing in the United States. They do not typically focus on search rates of traffic stops, but that is a mistake we are not going to make.

On this episode of Relatively Prime Samuel talks to Lily Khadjavi of Loyola Marymount University about the relationship between race and searches during traffic stops in Los Angeles. It is not pretty, but it is fascinating and very important.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month. Plus, you can get access to the RelPrime bonus feed and hear Samuel’s full conversation with Lily, including the bit where Samuel talks about the time as a teenager he consented to a search.

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Supermilk (2)

SteveCombs

On this episode of Relatively Prime Samuel talks to Lily Khadjavi of Loyola Marymount University about the relationship between race and searches during traffic stops in Los Angeles. It is not pretty, but it is fascinating and very important.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month. Plus, you can get access to the RelPrime bonus feed and hear Samuel’s full conversation with Lily, including the bit where Samuel talks about the time as a teenager he consented to a search.

Download the Episode

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts or RSS

Music

Supermilk (2)

SteveCombs

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Cancer is a truly terrible disease. We all know it too, in fact it is very likely not a person reading this right now who has not had their own lives or the lives of their nearest and dearest affected by it. This includes your host Samuel.

This is one reason Samuel was so interested in hearing to the two brilliant mathematicians you will be hearing from today talk about the work they have been doing using mathematics to better understand how to tackle this horrible disease.

First you will will hear Jennifer Chayes, Managing Director of Microsoft Research New England, talk about her work using Steiner Trees to help understand Gene Regulatory Networks as related to Glioblastoma and Breast Cancer.

Then the conversation shifts focus to the emerging field of immunotherapy cancer vaccines. To better understand how mathematics may help drive this treatment forward we are joined by Ami Radunskaya of Claremont College in Pomona. Ami discusses how modeling can help create better treatment protocols for these vaccines, and leaves us with a very important action item.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month. Plus, you can get access to the RelPrime bonus feed and hear the full interviews Samuel conducted with both Jennifer Chayes and Ami Radunskaya.

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This is one reason Samuel was so interested in hearing to the two brilliant mathematicians you will be hearing from today talk about the work they have been doing using mathematics to better understand how to tackle this horrible disease.

First you will will hear Jennifer Chayes, Managing Director of Microsoft Research New England, talk about her work using Steiner Trees to help understand Gene Regulatory Networks as related to Glioblastoma and Breast Cancer.

Then the conversation shifts focus to the emerging field of immunotherapy cancer vaccines. To better understand how mathematics may help drive this treatment forward we are joined by Ami Radunskaya of Claremont College in Pomona. Ami discusses how modeling can help create better treatment protocols for these vaccines, and leaves us with a very important action item.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month. Plus, you can get access to the RelPrime bonus feed and hear the full interviews Samuel conducted with both Jennifer Chayes and Ami Radunskaya.

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Music

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Sorry for the late episode this month, but your intrepid host and producer Samuel Hansen had to go and get himself concussed at his day job. This means he was not able to put together the episode he was planning on releasing, not to worry though he has some tricks up his sleeve. As you may know March 2017 is the month of #TryPod, where podcasts from all over are banding together to convince their listeners to help raise awareness of podcasts by suggesting podcasts to friends and family they may like. This meant that while Samuel was unable to put together a show himself this month he figured why not do a #TryPod for all his listeners and feature an episode of one of his favorite mathematical podcasts The Other Half(To be fully above board Samuel is the Executive Producer and Editor of The Other Half, but all of the genius of the show is fully down to the knowledge and skills and the two amazing hosts Anna Haensch and Annie Rorem).

After a conference Anna attended this summer, during which she and her colleagues considered whether they could legally protect the work they produced, we began to wonder: To what extent can math be considered—and protected as—intellectual property?

Already comfortable with *mathematical* logic and reasoning, we turned to Sarah Wasserman Rajec from William & Mary Law School to help us approach this topic using logic and reason from the *legal* standpoint. As we work out an answer in **Math and Patent Law**, we yuck it up about upstream innovation, a very important encryption algorithm, prime factorization, and whether math is created, invented or…just a matter of eyesight.

Lowercase N

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Sorry for the late episode this month, but your intrepid host and producer Samuel Hansen had to go and get himself concussed at his day job. This means he was not able to put together the episode he was planning on releasing, not to worry though he has some tricks up his sleeve. As you may know March 2017 is the month of #TryPod, where podcasts from all over are banding together to convince their listeners to help raise awareness of podcasts by suggesting podcasts to friends and family they may like. This meant that while Samuel was unable to put together a show himself this month he figured why not do a #TryPod for all his listeners and feature an episode of one of his favorite mathematical podcasts The Other Half(To be fully above board Samuel is the Executive Producer and Editor of The Other Half, but all of the genius of the show is fully down to the knowledge and skills and the two amazing hosts Anna Haensch and Annie Rorem).

The Other Half Episode 3: Math and Patent Law

After a conference Anna attended this summer, during which she and her colleagues considered whether they could legally protect the work they produced, we began to wonder: To what extent can math be considered—and protected as—intellectual property?

Already comfortable with mathematical logic and reasoning, we turned to Sarah Wasserman Rajec from William & Mary Law School to help us approach this topic using logic and reason from the legal standpoint. As we work out an answer in Math and Patent Law, we yuck it up about upstream innovation, a very important encryption algorithm, prime factorization, and whether math is created, invented or…just a matter of eyesight.

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Music

Lowercase N

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We live in a culture obsessed with the Origin Story, and not without reason. There is very rarely a story more fascinating than the one which tells us why it is people do what they do. So, for the first ever live episode of Relatively Prime we present to you the mathematical origin stories of Lily Khadjavi and Robert Schneider. The episode was recorded live at the 2017 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta, Georgia. Many thanks to the MAA and the AMS for putting on the meetings and giving us the opportunity to have a live show, as well as so much thanks to the wonderful crew at the Hilton for all their help pulling everything together.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month. Plus, you can get access to the RelPrime bonus feed and hear about the most amazing live composition Robert Schneider ever heard.

ScienceCTN

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Broke for Free

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We live in a culture obsessed with the Origin Story, and not without reason. There is very rarely a story more fascinating than the one which tells us why it is people do what they do. So, for the first ever live episode of Relatively Prime we present to you the mathematical origin stories of Lily Khadjavi and Robert Schneider. The episode was recorded live at the 2017 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta, Georgia. Many thanks to the MAA and the AMS for putting on the meetings and giving us the opportunity to have a live show, as well as so much thanks to the wonderful crew at the Hilton for all their help pulling everything together.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month. Plus, you can get access to the RelPrime bonus feed and hear about the most amazing live composition Robert Schneider ever heard.

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Music

ScienceCTN

Lowercase N

Broke for Free

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We are right in the middle of that time every four years when the United States of America focuses very intently on the government, the whole government and not just the elected officials. Right now there are confirmation hearings happening, the executive branch is going through the final steps of transition, and a bunch of fresh congress people are settling into their new roles. This period is always a great reminder of all of the parts of the government which tend to be forgotten, like say the Department of the Interior. That is right, there really is a Department of the Interior. Since the USA’s focus is all on the government right now, so is Relatively Prime’s.

In particular we will be focusing on the role mathematics and mathematicians should play in our government. No matter what your personal political persuasion, if you are listening to this podcast it is a safe bet you wish mathematics had a place a little closer to the center of the political action. You are not alone, there are people working to make this happen. One such group are the AMS Congressional Fellows and this episode features an interview host Samuel Hansen conducted with the 2009-2010 AMS Congressional Fellow Katherine Crowley, actually she is not only a congressional fellow, she was also a AAAS policy fellow at the Department of Energy from 2011-2013. They discuss what Katherine’s fellowships entailed, how mathematics can help with policy, and how policy can help with mathematics. The interview was recorded in at the Seattle Joint Mathematics Meetings in January of 2016 where Katherine presented a talk about her time on the hill and in the executive branch. For anyone worried about being burnt out on political discussion after this last election season do not worry, this interview happened well before the election was in full swing and there is no talk about it at all.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month. Plus, you can get access to the RelPrime bonus feed and hear Katrine Crowley’s first mathematical memory.

Jahzarr

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We are right in the middle of that time every four years when the United States of America focuses very intently on the government, the whole government and not just the elected officials. Right now there are confirmation hearings happening, the executive branch is going through the final steps of transition, and a bunch of fresh congress people are settling into their new roles. This period is always a great reminder of all of the parts of the government which tend to be forgotten, like say the Department of the Interior. That is right, there really is a Department of the Interior. Since the USA’s focus is all on the government right now, so is Relatively Prime’s.

In particular we will be focusing on the role mathematics and mathematicians should play in our government. No matter what your personal political persuasion, if you are listening to this podcast it is a safe bet you wish mathematics had a place a little closer to the center of the political action. You are not alone, there are people working to make this happen. One such group are the AMS Congressional Fellows and this episode features an interview host Samuel Hansen conducted with the 2009-2010 AMS Congressional Fellow Katherine Crowley, actually she is not only a congressional fellow, she was also a AAAS policy fellow at the Department of Energy from 2011-2013. They discuss what Katherine’s fellowships entailed, how mathematics can help with policy, and how policy can help with mathematics. The interview was recorded in at the Seattle Joint Mathematics Meetings in January of 2016 where Katherine presented a talk about her time on the hill and in the executive branch. For anyone worried about being burnt out on political discussion after this last election season do not worry, this interview happened well before the election was in full swing and there is no talk about it at all.

Don’t forget to support Relatively Prime on Patreon and make sure Samuel can afford to make rent next month. Plus, you can get access to the RelPrime bonus feed and hear Katrine Crowley’s first mathematical memory.

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Music

Jahzarr

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Welcome to the new season of Relatively Prime! There will be a few changes for the new season, primarily each episode will feature only a single story, but to make up for that episodes will be coming out monthly, starting with this one which features the story of how Sharif Ibrahim developed the lottery which was used to award licenses for the retail sale of cannabis in Washington State after the referendum legalizing it was passed in November, 2012.

You can support Relatively Prime by becoming a patron of the show on Patreon. Any support you can give the show is greatly appreciated, and goes a long way to making sure it is sustainable.

If you are going to be attending the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta(or just happen to live in the great city) next month you can not miss the LIVE recording of an episode of Relatively Prime. There are great guests lined up and you can be in the room while the magic is happening. All you have to do is show up at Regency Ballroom VII at the Hyatt on Friday January 6 at 8:00 PM.

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

The Phish audio was via @PhrankieC1 and the tape from the Draft Lottery came from CBS.

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Welcome to the new season of Relatively Prime! There will be a few changes for the new season, primarily each episode will feature only a single story, but to make up for that episodes will be coming out monthly, starting with this one which features the story of how Sharif Ibrahim developed the lottery which was used to award licenses for the retail sale of cannabis in Washington State after the referendum legalizing it was passed in November, 2012.

You can support Relatively Prime by becoming a patron of the show on Patreon. Any support you can give the show is greatly appreciated, and goes a long way to making sure it is sustainable.

If you are going to be attending the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta(or just happen to live in the great city) next month you can not miss the LIVE recording of an episode of Relatively Prime. There are great guests lined up and you can be in the room while the magic is happening. All you have to do is show up at Regency Ballroom VII at the Hyatt on Friday January 6 at 8:00 PM.

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Music

Jahzarr

Arbiter 617

The Phish audio was via @PhrankieC1 and the tape from the Draft Lottery came from CBS.

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This is the final episode of the 2nd season of Relatively Prime. It is also the second chapter of the ongoing series Diegetic Plots. Which means we will once again be exploring the intersection of mathematics and the humanities. This time by exploring what happens when haiku is used to procrastinate from writing a dissertation, how exactly theorems get born, all the possible continuums upon which feelings can be rated, and the executive summaries of some less than successful grant applications.

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Samuel spends a lot of his time searching the internet for cool mathematical things, so you can guess how excited he was when he stumbled on these amazing grant applications.

After hearing the amazing mathematical poems from the first chapter of Diegetic Plots Samuel decided to try his own hand at mathematical poetry. This is what came out of it.

Etta Devine, Gabriel Diani, Tekurah McCullough, and Rob Schultz play Karen, Jeff, Dr. Vittles, and the Narrator in Relatively Prime’s presentation of this piece of mathematically bent theater written by Colin Adams

Good Mathematics Haikus

In This Episode

Courtney Gibbons was just trying to find a way to not write her dissertation. Little did she know that 17 syllables of mathematics would so entrance Helene Tyler, Andrew Gainer-Dewar, and Greg Stevenson that the next thing they all knew they were engaged in a mathematical haiku battle the likes of which the world had never before seen(to be fair the world had probably never seen any sort of mathematical haiku battle before).

Special thanks to Greg Harries for being a great stand-in Greg.

From Courtney:

Go hear about that

time I wrote Facebook haikus

about my research

From Helene:

Who ever thought that

Math haiku would pave my way

To internet fame.

This piece was written by Rob Schultz with a tiny, tiny, almost minuscule amount of help from Samuel. The character of Murphy was voiced by Etta Devine and Doc was voiced by Rob.

Broke for Free

Supermilk

Jess and Frank Charlton

This is the final episode of the 2nd season of Relatively Prime. It is also the second chapter of the ongoing series Diegetic Plots. Which means we will once again be exploring the intersection of mathematics and the humanities. This time by exploring what happens when haiku is used to procrastinate from writing a dissertation, how exactly theorems get born, all the possible continuums upon which feelings can be rated, and the executive summaries of some less than successful grant applications.

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Executive Summaries of Less than Successful Grant Applications

Samuel spends a lot of his time searching the internet for cool mathematical things, so you can guess how excited he was when he stumbled on these amazing grant applications.

Calculus of Your Body

After hearing the amazing mathematical poems from the first chapter of Diegetic Plots Samuel decided to try his own hand at mathematical poetry. This is what came out of it.

A Difficult Delivery

Etta Devine, Gabriel Diani, Tekurah McCullough, and Rob Schultz play Karen, Jeff, Dr. Vittles, and the Narrator in Relatively Prime’s presentation of this piece of mathematically bent theater written by Colin Adams

Much Depends Upon

Good Mathematics Haikus

In This Episode

Courtney Gibbons was just trying to find a way to not write her dissertation. Little did she know that 17 syllables of mathematics would so entrance Helene Tyler, Andrew Gainer-Dewar, and Greg Stevenson that the next thing they all knew they were engaged in a mathematical haiku battle the likes of which the world had never before seen(to be fair the world had probably never seen any sort of mathematical haiku battle before).

Special thanks to Greg Harries for being a great stand-in Greg.

Bonus Haiku As Promised

From Courtney:

Go hear about that

time I wrote Facebook haikus

about my research

From Helene:

Who ever thought that

Math haiku would pave my way

To internet fame.

The Continuum

This piece was written by Rob Schultz with a tiny, tiny, almost minuscule amount of help from Samuel. The character of Murphy was voiced by Etta Devine and Doc was voiced by Rob.

Music

Broke for Free

Supermilk

Jess and Frank Charlton

While the interviews in this episode Relatively Prime are licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license,]]>

If you ever want to conduct a quick social experiment on the status of mathematics in the world just get yourself a dating profile and mention on it that you are a mathematician. The messages you get will be quite illuminating:

“I hate to break it to you, but while I appreciate math for its logic and beauty, I don’t think I’ll ever like it. lol TOO many formulas.”

“I got up to AP Calc during my senior year of high school, cheated off my best friend on all the tests and still got 70s in the class, and swore off math from thereon.”

Even when people do not say outright that they despise math the contents can leave a bit to be desired:

“I’m awful at math but it fascinates me–much like historical linguistics and conjugating Russian.”

It is not like it was all bad though. Samuel did once get this message:

“I also really like math and spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get people to like it more!”

But come to think of it he doesn’t think they actually ended up actually going on a date.

We really shouldn’t be so negative about all of this. Samuel has been told by more than one person that being a mathematician makes him sexy, really he has and it is so validating for him, and he doubts anyone ever turned me down for a date just because he loves mathematics. But given all the times he has received messages with gloomy words about math and how often on a first date some of the first words out of his companion’s mouth is how much they hate math he couldn’t help but wonder if mathematics has impacted my dating life negatively, if only a little bit.

Of course mathematics has never let us down in the past, doubt it is going to start now.

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Andrea Silenzi was the host of Why Oh Why, a radio show about where love and sex meets technology and she was looking for a date. So when Planet Money called her up and asked if she would be interested in getting some dating advice from economist Tim Harford she definitely said yes.

Samuel spoke with Andrea about what it was like to follow an economist’s advice on dating, why we should not treat dating like a job, and where to draw the line when it comes to formulaic dating.

Back in 2009 for the podcast Strongly Connected Components Samuel interviewed Sam Yagan then the CEO and co-founder of an upstart online dating site which was differentiating itself from the competition by putting a real focus on the data side of dating. That little upstart was OKCupid and Sam is now the CEO of Match Group, which includes Match.com, OkCupid and Tinder. They talked about why OKCupid puts such a focus on math and data, how the OKCupid algorithm relies on its users, and why you shouldn’t stress out on having the perfect dating profile photo.

Full Strongly Connected Components Interview:

Mathematics communicator and comedian Matt Parker tells Samuel about the optimal stopping problem, and how it could help him date more effectively.

John Gottman is a psychologist, therapist, mathematician, and co-founder, with his wife Julie Schwartz Gottman, of the Gottman Institute where they do research in order to better understand relationships. For our purposes we are most interested in the work John has done in mathematically modelling marriage, in particular the factors which lead to divorce. John tells Samuel about his research, how he transitioned from mathematics to psychology, and what, mathematically, is the biggest predictor of a lasting relationship.

Andrea and Samuel had so much fun talking about her economist advised dating experiments that they continued chatting for quite a while. This is eventually where they eventually landed.

]]>If you ever want to conduct a quick social experiment on the status of mathematics in the world just get yourself a dating profile and mention on it that you are a mathematician. The messages you get will be quite illuminating:

“I hate to break it to you, but while I appreciate math for its logic and beauty, I don’t think I’ll ever like it. lol TOO many formulas.”

“I got up to AP Calc during my senior year of high school, cheated off my best friend on all the tests and still got 70s in the class, and swore off math from thereon.”

Even when people do not say outright that they despise math the contents can leave a bit to be desired:

“I’m awful at math but it fascinates me–much like historical linguistics and conjugating Russian.”

It is not like it was all bad though. Samuel did once get this message:

“I also really like math and spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get people to like it more!”

But come to think of it he doesn’t think they actually ended up actually going on a date.

We really shouldn’t be so negative about all of this. Samuel has been told by more than one person that being a mathematician makes him sexy, really he has and it is so validating for him, and he doubts anyone ever turned me down for a date just because he loves mathematics. But given all the times he has received messages with gloomy words about math and how often on a first date some of the first words out of his companion’s mouth is how much they hate math he couldn’t help but wonder if mathematics has impacted my dating life negatively, if only a little bit.

Of course mathematics has never let us down in the past, doubt it is going to start now.

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Support the Kickstarter

An Economist Cupid

Andrea Silenzi was the host of Why Oh Why, a radio show about where love and sex meets technology and she was looking for a date. So when Planet Money called her up and asked if she would be interested in getting some dating advice from economist Tim Harford she definitely said yes.

Samuel spoke with Andrea about what it was like to follow an economist’s advice on dating, why we should not treat dating like a job, and where to draw the line when it comes to formulaic dating.

Helping you Math your way to Someone Special

Back in 2009 for the podcast Strongly Connected Components Samuel interviewed Sam Yagan then the CEO and co-founder of an upstart online dating site which was differentiating itself from the competition by putting a real focus on the data side of dating. That little upstart was OKCupid and Sam is now the CEO of Match Group, which includes Match.com, OkCupid and Tinder. They talked about why OKCupid puts such a focus on math and data, how the OKCupid algorithm relies on its users, and why you shouldn’t stress out on having the perfect dating profile photo.

Full Strongly Connected Components Interview:

Optimal Date Stopping

Mathematics communicator and comedian Matt Parker tells Samuel about the optimal stopping problem, and how it could help him date more effectively.]]>

Your host Samuel Hansen loves cities. Small Cities, Dense Cities, New Cities, Twin Cities, Reborn Cities, he doesn’t care what type of city cities. He loves them all. This of course made it inevitable Samuel would at some point become interested in the intersection of cities and mathematics, and once he became interested in that intersection it became inevitable he would have to make a podcast featuring stories about it. And now here we are. Cause and effect, it really is a marvelous thing.

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Michael Batty is the chair of CASA, the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis . He is also the author of the books The New Science of Cities and Cites and Complexity. Samuel spoke to him about how cities grow, the similarity of cities and trees, and the fractal dimension of cities.

Listen to Samuel’s full interview with Michael Batty:

One truth about living in most cities is traffic, and quite often that truth is slow and all clogged up. As bothersome as all the traffic is, where there is a problem there is often interesting mathematics to do and in this case the mathematics is being tackled by University of Michigan professor Gabor Orosz. Samuel spoke with Gabor about why jams form, if there is any hope in the future for less of them, and what role robots in the hallways of the university play in his studies.

Maths in the City is an outreach program conceived by Marcus du Sautoy which shows groups the mathematics of London and Oxford. Samuel spoke with one of the tour guides, Thomas Woolley about the program and some of the mathematical sights you could see on one of the tours.

If these mathematical city tours sounds interesting to you, but you are not anywhere near London and Oxford do not fret as the Maths in the City website has you covered. There is an entire section where people can post their own examples of mathematics in cities all around the world, and you can easily search to see if there is any notable city mathematics near you.

Lisa Schweitzer is an Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC. Samuel spoke to Lisa about the intersection of urban planning and mathematics, where mathematical tools are the most useful, where they fall short, and what the role of mathematics and statistics will be in urban planning moving forward.

Kolmogorov complexity can be thought of as the smallest amount of computational resources needed to designate some object. Sim City is a computer game where you build and manage cities. Samuel Arbesman is a senior adjunct fellow at the Flatiron Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado. Yes, they do all come together.

Click here if you like spoilers(aka the article Samuel interviewed Samuel about)

Your host Samuel Hansen loves cities. Small Cities, Dense Cities, New Cities, Twin Cities, Reborn Cities, he doesn’t care what type of city cities. He loves them all. This of course made it inevitable Samuel would at some point become interested in the intersection of cities and mathematics, and once he became interested in that intersection it became inevitable he would have to make a podcast featuring stories about it. And now here we are. Cause and effect, it really is a marvelous thing.

Support the Kickstarter

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

The Dimension of Cities

Michael Batty is the chair of CASA, the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis . He is also the author of the books The New Science of Cities and Cites and Complexity. Samuel spoke to him about how cities grow, the similarity of cities and trees, and the fractal dimension of cities.

Listen to Samuel’s full interview with Michael Batty:

A Bunch of Two Parameter Driving Models

One truth about living in most cities is traffic, and quite often that truth is slow and all clogged up. As bothersome as all the traffic is, where there is a problem there is often interesting mathematics to do and in this case the mathematics is being tackled by University of Michigan professor Gabor Orosz. Samuel spoke with Gabor about why jams form, if there is any hope in the future for less of them, and what role robots in the hallways of the university play in his studies.

See the Sights

Maths in the City is an outreach program conceived by Marcus du Sautoy which shows groups the mathematics of London and Oxford. Samuel spoke with one of the tour guides, Thomas Woolley about the program and some of the mathematical sights you could see on one of the tours.

If these mathematical city tours sounds interesting to you, but you are not anywhere near London and Oxford do not fret as the Maths in the City website has you covered. There is an entire section where people can post their own examples of mathematics in cities all around the world, and you can easily search to see if there is any notable city mathematics near you.

The Universe of Urban Planning

Lisa Schweitzer is an Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC. Samuel spoke to Lisa about the intersection of urban planning and mathematics, where mathematical tools are the most useful, where they fall short, and what the role of mathematics and statistics will be in urban planning moving forward.

Kolmogorov’s City

Kolmogorov complexity can be thought of as the smallest amount of computational resources needed to designate some object. Sim City is a computer game where you build and manage cities.

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Mathematician is an insanely broad job title It can encompass everyone from professors to government employees to podcast hosts.

And all of these different types of mathematicians, They do very different work, In very different ways.

Except for that one constant, they all do mathematics.

My friends Jess Charlton, Gabriel Siqueiros, Jen Bokoff, and Mike Wolf called me up and let me know just what it is they think mathematicians do all day.

Anna Haensch is a Professor of Mathematics at Duquesne University, a mathematics writer, and co-host of The Other Half a pocast about the half of mathematics which helps you makes sense of your own life. Oh, and she tweets too.

Kristin Lauter is Principal Researcher and Research Manager for the Cryptography group at Microsoft Research and the President of the Association of Women in Mathematics. She also tweets.

Combinations and Permuations was the first podcast Samuel ever hosted. He in no way thinks you should go back and listen to the inane and vulgar jokes he and his fellow mathematics graduate students made during the shows run, but he know he can’t stop you. For Relatively Prime he got some of the old favorites, Nathan Rowe, Sean Breckling, and Brandon Metz, back together in the mail room of UNLV CDC Building 7 to record an episode all about what mathematicians do all day.

Here is a longer cut of the silliness:

espi twelve (2)

lowercase n

Red Shirt Beats

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Other Duties As Assigned

Mathematician is an insanely broad job title It can encompass everyone from professors to government employees to podcast hosts.

And all of these different types of mathematicians, They do very different work, In very different ways.

Except for that one constant, they all do mathematics.

What Do They Do?

My friends Jess Charlton, Gabriel Siqueiros, Jen Bokoff, and Mike Wolf called me up and let me know just what it is they think mathematicians do all day.

Anna Haensch: The Academic

Anna Haensch is a Professor of Mathematics at Duquesne University, a mathematics writer, and co-host of The Other Half a pocast about the half of mathematics which helps you makes sense of your own life. Oh, and she tweets too.

Kristin Lauter: The Professional

Kristin Lauter is Principal Researcher and Research Manager for the Cryptography group at Microsoft Research and the President of the Association of Women in Mathematics. She also tweets.

Combinations and Permuations: The Fools

Combinations and Permuations was the first podcast Samuel ever hosted. He in no way thinks you should go back and listen to the inane and vulgar jokes he and his fellow mathematics graduate students made during the shows run, but he know he can’t stop you. For Relatively Prime he got some of the old favorites, Nathan Rowe, Sean Breckling, and Brandon Metz, back together in the mail room of UNLV CDC Building 7 to record an episode all about what mathematicians do all day.

Here is a longer cut of the silliness:

Music

espi twelve (2)

lowercase n

Red Shirt Beats

]]>

Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

This episode of Relatively Prime is going to be delving into the humanistic side of mathematics. It is the first chapter in a recurring series Samuel is calling Diegetic Plots. Yes that is a super nerdy joke, and yes Samuel is super proud of it.

Gizem Karaali is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College and an editor of The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, a journal which looks at mathematics as a human endeavor with am emphasis on the aesthetic, cultural, and sociological aspects of mathematics. She read her poem **The Colors of Math**.

Ted Chiang is a multiple Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction author. Among his work is an amazing bit of math-fiction titled, **Division By Zero**. Samuel talked to Ted about where the idea for the story came from and what it was like to write about such an abstract mathematical idea. You can find the story in Ted’s short story collection *Stories of Your Life and Others* where you will also find a lot of other wonderful stories to read.

The interview is followed by a reading of **Division By Zero** by Jess Charlton, Kitty Stoholski, and Samuel.

A black hole appears over Samuel’s desk as he tries to introduce the next segment and what appears is frightening.

Stuart Rojstaczer has been a dishwasher, a college professor, and a grade inflation czar. He is now an author who’s debut novel was published in September 2014. The novel, **The Mathematician’s Shiva**, is the story of Rachela, the greatest mathematician of her age. It tells the story both of her time in a Soviet Gulag as a child and of the aftermath of her death. Samuel talked to Stuart about how he prepared to write about mathematicians, the importance of balancing all of one’s identities, and a little bit about Navier-Stokes.

JoAnne Growney is a poet and a mathematician. She read her poem **A Taste of Mathematics** which can be found in her poetry collection *Red Has No Reason*

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Diegetic Plots: Chapter One

This episode of Relatively Prime is going to be delving into the humanistic side of mathematics. It is the first chapter in a recurring series Samuel is calling Diegetic Plots. Yes that is a super nerdy joke, and yes Samuel is super proud of it.

The Colors of Math

Gizem Karaali is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College and an editor of The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, a journal which looks at mathematics as a human endeavor with am emphasis on the aesthetic, cultural, and sociological aspects of mathematics. She read her poem The Colors of Math.

Division By Zero

Ted Chiang is a multiple Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction author. Among his work is an amazing bit of math-fiction titled, Division By Zero. Samuel talked to Ted about where the idea for the story came from and what it was like to write about such an abstract mathematical idea. You can find the story in Ted’s short story collection Stories of Your Life and Others where you will also find a lot of other wonderful stories to read.

The interview is followed by a reading of Division By Zero by Jess Charlton, Kitty Stoholski, and Samuel.

Patent World Order

A black hole appears over Samuel’s desk as he tries to introduce the next segment and what appears is frightening.

The Mathematician’s Shiva

Stuart Rojstaczer has been a dishwasher, a college professor, and a grade inflation czar. He is now an author who’s debut novel was published in September 2014. The novel, The Mathematician’s Shiva, is the story of Rachela, the greatest mathematician of her age. It tells the story both of her time in a Soviet Gulag as a child and of the aftermath of her death. Samuel talked to Stuart about how he prepared to write about mathematicians, the importance of balancing all of one’s identities, and a little bit about Navier-Stokes.

A Taste of Mathematics

JoAnne Growney is a poet and a mathematician. She read her poem A Taste of Mathematics which can be found in her poetry collection Red Has No Reason

Music

Chris Zabriskie (2)

####While the interviews in this episode Relatively Prime are licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license, the authors reserve all rights for the poems and stories which appeared on this episode and if you want to reproduce or otherwise use their work please contact the authors to ask for their permission.

]]>

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Mathematics may be the most pure, the most abstract, the most ivory tower of all academic disciplines, but nothing, nothing is beyond the reach of politics. This episode of Relatively Prime looks at how politics effects mathematics and how mathematics can effect politics.

Mathematics does not tend to be the focus of people who are aiming to become president of the United States, which really is not surprising. There are a lot of lawyers among the previous presidents, along with a few economics and business students. All of which do sound like more expected stepping stones to political office than a degree in mathematics. This does not mean they skip mathematical education in its entirety of course. Samuel spoke with Ronald Merritt of Athens State University about his research into the mathematical educations of US presidents and about which president has a proof included in Elisha Loomis’s book of proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem.

Della Dumbaugh of University of Richmond tells us two stories of how Nazi Germany and the Boxer Rebellion changed the lives of individual mathematicians and the effects these life changes had on mathematics more broadly.

Keith Devlin may not have born in the United States, but he is a very proud US citizen. He had only recently received his citizenship when the tragic events of September 11, 2001 came to pass. After the attacks, like a lot of other really smart people, Keith was contacted by the government and asked to lend his expertise to try and stop another attack. Keith talked to Samuel about went into his decision, whether or not he would make the same decision today, and some stuff which went down in Germany in the 70s.

Gerrymandering – the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.

Few aspects of politics are as clearly open to mathematical analysis as gerrymandering. Just looking at district maps seems to scream for geometric analysis, and there really are a lot of different tests out there. Samuel spoke to David Austin about some potential gerrymandered districts and ways to test for them, then things got a bit bizarre. Samuel also sat down with Jonathan Hodge to talk about a technique Hodge helped develop to test for gerrymandering called the Convexity Coefficient.

Not all of the ways to test for possible gerrymandering rely on geometry. Duke University Professor Jonathan Mattingly and his former student Christy Vaughn, she is currently a graduate student at Princeton, decided to use probability theory to check to see if the districts used in North Carolina’s 2012 elections had been drawn fairly. The results were eye opening.

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Mathematistan

Mathematics may be the most pure, the most abstract, the most ivory tower of all academic disciplines, but nothing, nothing is beyond the reach of politics. This episode of Relatively Prime looks at how politics effects mathematics and how mathematics can effect politics.

Presidential Pre-Requisites

Mathematics does not tend to be the focus of people who are aiming to become president of the United States, which really is not surprising. There are a lot of lawyers among the previous presidents, along with a few economics and business students. All of which do sound like more expected stepping stones to political office than a degree in mathematics. This does not mean they skip mathematical education in its entirety of course. Samuel spoke with Ronald Merritt of Athens State University about his research into the mathematical educations of US presidents and about which president has a proof included in Elisha Loomis’s book of proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem.

Boxers and Fighting Irish

Della Dumbaugh of University of Richmond tells us two stories of how Nazi Germany and the Boxer Rebellion changed the lives of individual mathematicians and the effects these life changes had on mathematics more broadly.

Surveillance Both Ways

Keith Devlin may not have born in the United States, but he is a very proud US citizen. He had only recently received his citizenship when the tragic events of September 11, 2001 came to pass. After the attacks, like a lot of other really smart people, Keith was contacted by the government and asked to lend his expertise to try and stop another attack. Keith talked to Samuel about went into his decision, whether or not he would make the same decision today, and some stuff which went down in Germany in the 70s.

And All of Gerry’s Man(dering)

Gerrymandering – the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.

Few aspects of politics are as clearly open to mathematical analysis as gerrymandering. Just looking at district maps seems to scream for geometric analysis, and there really are a lot of different tests out there. Samuel spoke to David Austin about some potential gerrymandered districts and ways to test for them, then things got a bit bizarre. Samuel also sat down with Jonathan Hodge to talk about a technique Hodge helped develop to test for gerrymandering called the Convexity Coefficient.

Not all of the ways to test for possible gerrymandering rely on geometry. Duke University Professor Jonathan Mattingly and his former student Christy Vaughn, she is currently a graduate student at Princeton, decided to use probability theory to check to see if the districts used in North Carolina’s 2012 elections had been drawn fairly.

We all use mathematics everyday. At least that is what we all like to tell our friends who ask us, “What good is math anyway?” The problem is so much of this everyday mathematics is, how should I say this, non-obvious. No one thinks they are doing mathematics when they figure out the larger peanut butter is not actually a better deal than the smaller size or when they cut across the intersection diagonally to save time or when they decide to ask that friend they don’t really talk to much to spread the word about their new project because that friend has more friends than they do(not that I have any history doing this last one, no history in doing it at all). Sure those are just algebra, geometry, and network analysis problems deep down, but they are also just normal every issues. In this episode of Relatively Prime we look at three regular, everyday problems and use mathematics to make them a bit more comfortable, a bit more pleasant, and, in the case of the first story, a bit more delicious. Oh, and we have a couple quick pieces of advice about how to make pumping gas fun and tipping more secure.

Samuel was talking to Matt Parker, on of the nerds in The Festival of the Spoken Nerd and author of Things to Make or Do in the Fourth Dimension which sadly is only a three dimensional book, and asked him if he had any everyday tasks which mathematics could make better. His answer will change how you pump gas forever.

Say you are living in a new city and you haven’t made any new friends yet and your birthday is coming up. This was the exact situation Samuel was in last year. He still wanted to have a cake though, but as he was by himself Samuel was worried if he cut his cake in the traditional way it would go stale. Enter Alex Bellos, Guardian Columnist, author of Here’s Looking at Euclid, The Grapes of Math, and, with Edmund Harriss, the math coloring book Snowflake Seashell Star, to tell Samuel about Sir Francis Galton’s perfect cake cutting technique.

Of course since Samuel recorded the interview with Alex before his birthday something was going to have to happen to make it not relevant. In this case it was a happy occurrence, Samuel actually made a friend with whom he could celebrate his birthday. Which was awesome, except it meant Alex’s cake cutting method wasn’t going to be too useful. Samuel wasn’t going to have a birthday without a mathematically appropriate cake cut though so he called up Steven Brams to determine how to fairly divide his cake between him and his new friend.

Of course this meant Samuel needed to go get his birthday cake, and in order to do that he was going to need to find himself a parking spot. For most people this is an everyday problem, but since Samuel usually rolls out of bed and lands in front of his microphone he needed some help to choose the best spot to choose when buying his cake. Thankfully Laura Mclay, who writes the blog Punk Rock Operations Research, had his back or he would probably still be driving around the bakery’s parking lot.

Imagine this: It is a Thursday night and the pub a few blocks away has an Irish music night you really like, but it is a small pub and when there are a lot of people there you don’t enjoy yourself. Should you go to the pub or should you stay home? This is the exact problem W. Brian Arthur found himself having in Santa Fe with the El Farol Bar in the early 90s and being trained in economics and mathematics Brian did the logical thing, he wrote a paper on it.

Music:

Red Shirt Beats(1)(2)(3)

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

Your Daily Recommended Math

We all use mathematics everyday. At least that is what we all like to tell our friends who ask us, “What good is math anyway?” The problem is so much of this everyday mathematics is, how should I say this, non-obvious. No one thinks they are doing mathematics when they figure out the larger peanut butter is not actually a better deal than the smaller size or when they cut across the intersection diagonally to save time or when they decide to ask that friend they don’t really talk to much to spread the word about their new project because that friend has more friends than they do(not that I have any history doing this last one, no history in doing it at all). Sure those are just algebra, geometry, and network analysis problems deep down, but they are also just normal every issues. In this episode of Relatively Prime we look at three regular, everyday problems and use mathematics to make them a bit more comfortable, a bit more pleasant, and, in the case of the first story, a bit more delicious. Oh, and we have a couple quick pieces of advice about how to make pumping gas fun and tipping more secure.

Parker’s Palindromic Pumping

Samuel was talking to Matt Parker, on of the nerds in The Festival of the Spoken Nerd and author of Things to Make or Do in the Fourth Dimension which sadly is only a three dimensional book, and asked him if he had any everyday tasks which mathematics could make better. His answer will change how you pump gas forever.

But I Want That Piece

Say you are living in a new city and you haven’t made any new friends yet and your birthday is coming up. This was the exact situation Samuel was in last year. He still wanted to have a cake though, but as he was by himself Samuel was worried if he cut his cake in the traditional way it would go stale. Enter Alex Bellos, Guardian Columnist, author of Here’s Looking at Euclid, The Grapes of Math, and, with Edmund Harriss, the math coloring book Snowflake Seashell Star, to tell Samuel about Sir Francis Galton’s perfect cake cutting technique.

Of course since Samuel recorded the interview with Alex before his birthday something was going to have to happen to make it not relevant. In this case it was a happy occurrence, Samuel actually made a friend with whom he could celebrate his birthday. Which was awesome, except it meant Alex’s cake cutting method wasn’t going to be too useful. Samuel wasn’t going to have a birthday without a mathematically appropriate cake cut though so he called up Steven Brams to determine how...]]>

The Three R’s, Reading Writing and ’Rithmetic, have formed the basis of formal education for centuries, at least since they were mentioned by Sir William Curtis in 1795, even if he probably used Reckoning instead of ‘Rithmetic. Most of the time though the three R’s can be simplified down even further to the two Glyphs, Letters and Numbers.

For most people ‘Rithmetic or reckoning or mathematics or what ever you want to call it, falls directly under the umbrella of numbers. That is not incorrect. Numbers are very much mathematics brand. Numbers are how mathematics is represented to children from a young age and when you show an aptitude for the subject you are often branded a numbers person. There is even a youtube channel featuring videos about cool mathematics called Numberphile.

But mathematics is more than numbers, and before you go making a joke about how of course it is otherwise we could never solve for x, mathematics is more than individual letters too. Letters, and that thing you get when you put a bunch of letters together and make them into words and then you take those words and you put them together according to some set of rules called language, plays a very important role in mathematics. This episode of Relatively Prime, The Lexicon, explores this role.

Lynne Murphy is an American born, University of Sussex employed linguist. This made her the perfect person to talk to about the linguistic fight which destroys more Anglo-American mathematical friendships than which type of breakfast pastry to serve at a conference: Is it Math or is it Maths? (Ed. Note: It is math, I do not care at all what the story actually concludes)

One of the things about the language of mathematics is a lot of it comes from language, like from the languages that we speak. To be fair not the actual languages we speak, at least not that we speak anymore. Unless you just happen to be a scholar of Greek, Latin, or Arabic.

This is where Anthony Lo Bello’s Origins of Mathematical Words: A Comprehensive Dictionary of Latin, Greek, and Arabic Roots comes in. Samuel was joined by Anthony for a conversation about the dictionary and some of the origins therein.

A discussion of mathematical language which only touched on mathematical words would be really unsatisfying. It would probably feel like only one half of a dialogue. This is of course because it would be skipping over half of what constitutes mathematical language, it would be skipping over symbols.

Today symbols are just as much part of the language of mathematics as words. This is a surprisingly recent development. For example, when Algebra was first being developed it was entirely in prose. Joseph Mazur wrote about how symbols were developed and integrated into mathematics in his book Enlightening Symbols and he spoke to Samuel about the evolution of symbols and how they have changed mathematics.

There are two words which can elicit a groan in almost any mathematics classroom, word problem. Thankfully this does not have to be the case. Tharanga Wijetunge and Kirthi Premadasa are here with the solution. Their research has shown that using different language to frame the problems can help students not only enjoy the problems more, but also better recall the mathematics.

Tim Chartier is a person who spends half of his life trying to find stories within mathematics and the other half telling those stories in as many ways as possible. While this would be a hard enough task if Tim just wrote books, made videos, and gave podcast interviews. All of which he does, but Tim, along with his wife, have gone one step farther and now tour the world tell mathematical stories without any words at all. That is right, they do mathematical mime.

Mime-matics – The Plunger from Tim Chartier on Vimeo.

Mime-matics – the infinite rope from Tim Chartier on Vimeo.

Mime-matics – The Tube (with Topology discussion) from Tim Chartier on Vimeo

]]>Download the Episode

Subscribe: iTunes or RSS

The Three R’s, Reading Writing and ’Rithmetic, have formed the basis of formal education for centuries, at least since they were mentioned by Sir William Curtis in 1795, even if he probably used Reckoning instead of ‘Rithmetic. Most of the time though the three R’s can be simplified down even further to the two Glyphs, Letters and Numbers.

For most people ‘Rithmetic or reckoning or mathematics or what ever you want to call it, falls directly under the umbrella of numbers. That is not incorrect. Numbers are very much mathematics brand. Numbers are how mathematics is represented to children from a young age and when you show an aptitude for the subject you are often branded a numbers person. There is even a youtube channel featuring videos about cool mathematics called Numberphile.

But mathematics is more than numbers, and before you go making a joke about how of course it is otherwise we could never solve for x, mathematics is more than individual letters too. Letters, and that thing you get when you put a bunch of letters together and make them into words and then you take those words and you put them together according to some set of rules called language, plays a very important role in mathematics. This episode of Relatively Prime, The Lexicon, explores this role.

The Trans-Atlantic Battle

Lynne Murphy is an American born, University of Sussex employed linguist. This made her the perfect person to talk to about the linguistic fight which destroys more Anglo-American mathematical friendships than which type of breakfast pastry to serve at a conference: Is it Math or is it Maths? (Ed. Note: It is math, I do not care at all what the story actually concludes)

Digging Down to the Roots

One of the things about the language of mathematics is a lot of it comes from language, like from the languages that we speak. To be fair not the actual languages we speak, at least not that we speak anymore. Unless you just happen to be a scholar of Greek, Latin, or Arabic.

This is where Anthony Lo Bello’s Origins of Mathematical Words: A Comprehensive Dictionary of Latin, Greek, and Arabic Roots comes in. Samuel was joined by Anthony for a conversation about the dictionary and some of the origins therein.

Words’ Younger Sibling

A discussion of mathematical language which only touched on mathematical words would be really unsatisfying. It would probably feel like only one half of a dialogue. This is of course because it would be skipping over half of what constitutes mathematical language, it would be skipping over symbols.

Today symbols are just as much part of the language of mathematics as words. This is a surprisingly recent development. For example, when Algebra was first being developed it was entirely in prose. Joseph Mazur wrote about how symbols were developed and integrated into mathematics in his book Enlightening Symbols and he spoke to Samuel about the evolution of symbols and how they have changed mathematics.

]]>

You may not think of checkers as an important game intellectually. It certainly has never had the cachet of chess. That did not stop it from becoming the obsession of the University of Alberta computer science professor for nearly two decades and the center of one of the most ambitious Artificial Intelligence projects ever undertaken. This is their story.

Listen to the Episode

(download)

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

Guests:

Jonathan Schaeffer is a Computer Science Professor at the University of Alberta where he is also the current Dean of the Faculty of Science.

Download the Uncut Jonathan Schaeffer Interview

Chinook is the greatest checkers player in the world, in fact it is impossible to beat. The product of an 18 year project in computer artificial intelligence, Chinook represents one of the greatest breakthroughs in computer game playing and was the first machine to ever hold a human world championship.

Music:

sr_cafe

Mgen

Joe Nathan 007

sciencectn (2) (3)

xlcntr

marcalexandre

thedeadsoul

amethystdeceiver

_Oce_

You may not think of checkers as an important game intellectually. It certainly has never had the cachet of chess. That did not stop it from becoming the obsession of the University of Alberta computer science professor for nearly two decades and the center of one of the most ambitious Artificial Intelligence projects ever undertaken. This is their story.

Listen to the Episode

(download)

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via RSS

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

Guests:

Jonathan Schaeffer is a Computer Science Professor at the University of Alberta where he is also the current Dean of the Faculty of Science.

Download the Uncut Jonathan Schaeffer Interview

Chinook is the greatest checkers player in the world, in fact it is impossible to beat. The product of an 18 year project in computer artificial intelligence, Chinook represents one of the greatest breakthroughs in computer game playing and was the first machine to ever hold a human world championship.

Music:

sr_cafe

Mgen

Joe Nathan 007

sciencectn (2) (3)

xlcntr

marcalexandre

thedeadsoul

amethystdeceiver

_Oce_

]]>

The mathematics that we all learn in school is great. No, really, it is. How can anyone get through life without knowing how to add or subtract. Multiply or divide. Solve for an unknown or factor a polynomial. OK, you might be able to get through life without that last one, but the point still stands, the mathematics that we all learn in school is great. It isn’t everything though. There are a lot of other tools that mathematics has to offer that could enrich people’s lives. On this episode Samuel Hansen rummages through his mathematical tool box and showcases three tools he feel are going to be very important in the coming years.

Listen to the Episode

(download)

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

**Tool 1 Game Theory**:

Game theory has numerous applications in economics and political science, but thanks to the new book by NYU Professor Steven Brams, Game Theory and the Humanities, it has broken out of its shell and started to play in the same realm as Shakespeare and the Bible. Samuel spoke with Professor Brams at the 2012 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston.

**Tool 2 Risk**:

Risk is a word that can mean anything to anyone. From a technical perspective it is probably best defined as the probability that an action will lead to a negative result, but that is not the definition that most people have in mind when they hear the word. For them risk can be a person, risk can be an action, a loss, or even what makes you feel alive. Risk can have to do with death, with money, or with security. She could be a risk, he can risk it all, you might be told to just take a risk, and you definitely shouldn’t risk your life on getting anyone to agree on a definition of risk. In order to clear up these problems Samuel tracked down two of his favorite Risk minded thinkers. First on the list he spoke with the Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, as well as the man behind Understanding Uncertainty, David Spiegelhalter. Then he tracked down the stand-up mathematician Matt Parker, co-creator of Your Days are Numbered: The Maths of Death comedy show(the other mind behind the show was Timandra Harkness).

**Tool 3 Relief Geometry**:

Recent disasters have taught some people two things: disaster relief shelter is incredibly important and disaster relief shelters have major issues. It was with those thoughts in mind that Vinay Gupta created the original Hexayurt, a zero waste relief structure that can be built from basic materials that already exist in most supply chains, plywood and nails. They were very simple and very small structures, so when he wanted to create an expanded version of the hexayurt he enlisted the help of University of Arkansas mathematician Edmund Harriss.

Music:

]]>The mathematics that we all learn in school is great. No, really, it is. How can anyone get through life without knowing how to add or subtract. Multiply or divide. Solve for an unknown or factor a polynomial. OK, you might be able to get through life without that last one, but the point still stands, the mathematics that we all learn in school is great. It isn’t everything though. There are a lot of other tools that mathematics has to offer that could enrich people’s lives. On this episode Samuel Hansen rummages through his mathematical tool box and showcases three tools he feel are going to be very important in the coming years.

Listen to the Episode

(download)

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via RSS

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

Tool 1 Game Theory:

Game theory has numerous applications in economics and political science, but thanks to the new book by NYU Professor Steven Brams, Game Theory and the Humanities, it has broken out of its shell and started to play in the same realm as Shakespeare and the Bible. Samuel spoke with Professor Brams at the 2012 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston.

Tool 2 Risk:

Risk is a word that can mean anything to anyone. From a technical perspective it is probably best defined as the probability that an action will lead to a negative result, but that is not the definition that most people have in mind when they hear the word. For them risk can be a person, risk can be an action, a loss, or even what makes you feel alive. Risk can have to do with death, with money, or with security. She could be a risk, he can risk it all, you might be told to just take a risk, and you definitely shouldn’t risk your life on getting anyone to agree on a definition of risk. In order to clear up these problems Samuel tracked down two of his favorite Risk minded thinkers. First on the list he spoke with the Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, as well as the man behind Understanding Uncertainty, David Spiegelhalter. Then he tracked down the stand-up mathematician Matt Parker, co-creator of Your Days are Numbered: The Maths of Death comedy show(the other mind behind the show was Timandra Harkness).

Tool 3 Relief Geometry:

Recent disasters have taught some people two things: disaster relief shelter is incredibly important and disaster relief shelters have major issues. It was with those thoughts in mind that Vinay Gupta created the original Hexayurt, a zero waste relief structure that can be built from basic materials that already exist in most supply chains, plywood and nails. They were very simple and very small structures, so when he wanted to create an expanded version of the hexayurt he enlisted the help of University of Arkansas mathematician

There are many similarities between mathematics and music. They are their own vocabulary, their own written language, their own way of describing the world around us, but while they are similar the Venn diagram that contains mathematics and music doesn’t always seem to have a huge overlap. This episode of Relatively Prime brings you three stories from that intersection. First a story of mathematics applied to music, in a way that no musician would have thought up. Next a story of what happen when you take mathematician and musician and combine it into a single person. Finally, the story of a composer and how he has harnessed the power of numbers as a music creation tool.

Listen to the Episode

(download)

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

**The Application:**

Scott Rickard is the director of the Complex & Adaptive Systems Laboratory, and a Professor of Electrical Engineering, at the University College Dublin. His work on mathematics and music was initially presented at TEDxMIA, the video of which spread like wildfire.

**The Mathematical Musician, or musical mathematician:**

Robert Schneider is the lead singer of the band The Apples in Stereo and a cofounder of The Elephant Six Recording Collective. Oh, and he is currently studying for a Ph.D. of mathematics at Emory University.

OR

Robert Schneider is currently studying for a Ph.D. of mathematics at Emory University. Oh, and he is the lead singer of the band The Apples in Stereo and a cofounder of The Elephant Six Recording Collective.

Here is a video of the song, CPU, played during the story.

**The Composer:**

Jonathan Middleton is a composer, and Professor of Composition at Eastern Washington University. His website, Musical Algorithms, provides a way to turn numbers, sequences, DNA, and many other things into compositions.

All music on this episode was provided by the guests

There are many similarities between mathematics and music. They are their own vocabulary, their own written language, their own way of describing the world around us, but while they are similar the Venn diagram that contains mathematics and music doesn’t always seem to have a huge overlap. This episode of Relatively Prime brings you three stories from that intersection. First a story of mathematics applied to music, in a way that no musician would have thought up. Next a story of what happen when you take mathematician and musician and combine it into a single person. Finally, the story of a composer and how he has harnessed the power of numbers as a music creation tool.

Listen to the Episode

(download)

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via RSS

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

The Application:

Scott Rickard is the director of the Complex & Adaptive Systems Laboratory, and a Professor of Electrical Engineering, at the University College Dublin. His work on mathematics and music was initially presented at TEDxMIA, the video of which spread like wildfire.

The Mathematical Musician, or musical mathematician:

Robert Schneider is the lead singer of the band The Apples in Stereo and a cofounder of The Elephant Six Recording Collective. Oh, and he is currently studying for a Ph.D. of mathematics at Emory University.

OR

Robert Schneider is currently studying for a Ph.D. of mathematics at Emory University. Oh, and he is the lead singer of the band The Apples in Stereo and a cofounder of The Elephant Six Recording Collective.

Here is a video of the song, CPU, played during the story.

The Composer:

Jonathan Middleton is a composer, and Professor of Composition at Eastern Washington University. His website, Musical Algorithms, provides a way to turn numbers, sequences, DNA, and many other things into compositions.

All music on this episode was provided by the guests

]]>

Sometimes an approach you are sure will work yields results. Maybe the Cambridge sandwich year and a unicycle society will lead to traveling around the world talking about the mathematics behind throwing things in the air. Other times a sociologist’s observations about the statistics of networks decades later might help predict epidemics. Also who knows where an epiphany had while giving an exam may lead. For this episode Samuel Hansen searched near and far for stories of what was not expected.

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

The Unexpected Result:

Timothy Gowers is a Professor at Cambrige University, a Fields Medalist, a blogger, and the man who started the Polymath Project, where he and many others from around the world collaborated through comments on his blog to find a new combinatorial proof of the Density Hales-Jewett theorem.

The Unexpected Juggle:

Colin Wright has given his Mathematics of Juggling talk all over the world and you really want to see it. He also runs the MathsJam annual conference and talks about mathematics on his twitter and blog.

The Unexpected Application:

Scott Feld is a Professor of Sociology at Purdue University and is the author of the best titled research paper in the history of science: “Why Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do”

Nicholas Christakis is a physician and social scientist who works as a Professor at Harvard University in the Departments of Health Care Policy, Medicine, and Sociology. He has done extensive work into the relationship between social networks and health with his collaborator James Fowler.

The Unexpected Constant:

Robert Palais is a Professor of Mathematics at Utah Valley University and the author of “Pi is Wrong!”

Michael Hartl is an educator and entrepreneur, as well as being the author of “The Tau Manifesto” and the creator of Tau Day.

Music

]]>Sometimes an approach you are sure will work yields results. Maybe the Cambridge sandwich year and a unicycle society will lead to traveling around the world talking about the mathematics behind throwing things in the air. Other times a sociologist’s observations about the statistics of networks decades later might help predict epidemics. Also who knows where an epiphany had while giving an exam may lead. For this episode Samuel Hansen searched near and far for stories of what was not expected.

(download)

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via RSS

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

The Unexpected Result:

Timothy Gowers is a Professor at Cambrige University, a Fields Medalist, a blogger, and the man who started the Polymath Project, where he and many others from around the world collaborated through comments on his blog to find a new combinatorial proof of the Density Hales-Jewett theorem.

The Unexpected Juggle:

Colin Wright has given his Mathematics of Juggling talk all over the world and you really want to see it. He also runs the MathsJam annual conference and talks about mathematics on his twitter and blog.

The Unexpected Application:

Scott Feld is a Professor of Sociology at Purdue University and is the author of the best titled research paper in the history of science: “Why Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do”

Nicholas Christakis is a physician and social scientist who works as a Professor at Harvard University in the Departments of Health Care Policy, Medicine, and Sociology. He has done extensive work into the relationship between social networks and health with his collaborator James Fowler.

The Unexpected Constant:

Robert Palais is a Professor of Mathematics at Utah Valley University and the author of “Pi is Wrong!”

Michael Hartl is an educator and entrepreneur, as well as being the author of “The Tau Manifesto” and the creator of Tau Day.

Music

hjlphilp

Ronin Beats

Red Shirt Beats

It hardly seems that a week can go by without seeing another newspaper story or television report about the decline of the American Educational Establishment. Particularly in respect to mathematics. As a product of said establishment Samuel Hansen can not say that he thinks that it is as bad as the doomsayers would have us all think, but that is not to say that he thinks everything is peachy keen either.

There are problems, ranking 25th, out of 34 countries, on the mathematical section of the OECD’s International Student Assessment test, a score they refer to as being Statistically significantly below the average makes that clear. As does the general populace’s ill will towards the subject.

The problems are not insurmountable though, in fact Samuel may have spoken to some the people who will help solve them.

Listen to the Episode

(download)

The Teacher:

Dan Meyer is a PhD student at Stanford University. He has also spent 6 years teaching high school math, a year as a Cirriculum Fellow at Google, and is the man behind the popular mathematics education blog dy/dan. Samuel first heard about him from the TEDx talk that spread like wildfire across the internet mathematics community.

The Organization:

Math for America is a non-profit that has made its mission since 2004 to improve the state of USA mathematics education by creating a corps of top notch educators and leaders. In order to accomplish this goal they have created fellowships to support new teachers, established teachers, and mathematics teachers that are going into administration. Samuel spoke with the president of Math for America, John Ewing, in their New York offices. He also spoke with Math for America Fellows Meredith Klein and Patrick Honner.

The Innovator:

Keith Devlin is the Executive Director of Stanford’s H*STAR institute, a mathematician, an author, an educator, and a World of Warcraft player. When you put all of those things together you get a man both qualified and inclined to think about how video games can be used in mathematics education.

Music

Calvin Cardioid (2) (3)

It hardly seems that a week can go by without seeing another newspaper story or television report about the decline of the American Educational Establishment. Particularly in respect to mathematics. As a product of said establishment Samuel Hansen can not say that he thinks that it is as bad as the doomsayers would have us all think, but that is not to say that he thinks everything is peachy keen either.

There are problems, ranking 25th, out of 34 countries, on the mathematical section of the OECD’s International Student Assessment test, a score they refer to as being Statistically significantly below the average makes that clear. As does the general populace’s ill will towards the subject.

The problems are not insurmountable though, in fact Samuel may have spoken to some the people who will help solve them.

Listen to the Episode

(download)

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via RSS

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

The Teacher:

Dan Meyer is a PhD student at Stanford University. He has also spent 6 years teaching high school math, a year as a Cirriculum Fellow at Google, and is the man behind the popular mathematics education blog dy/dan. Samuel first heard about him from the TEDx talk that spread like wildfire across the internet mathematics community.

The Organization:

Math for America is a non-profit that has made its mission since 2004 to improve the state of USA mathematics education by creating a corps of top notch educators and leaders. In order to accomplish this goal they have created fellowships to support new teachers, established teachers, and mathematics teachers that are going into administration. Samuel spoke with the president of Math for America, John Ewing, in their New York offices. He also spoke with Math for America Fellows Meredith Klein and Patrick Honner.

The Innovator:

Keith Devlin is the Executive Director of Stanford’s H*STAR institute, a mathematician, an author, an educator, and a World of Warcraft player. When you put all of those things together you get a man both qualified and inclined to think about how video games can be used in mathematics education.

Music

Calvin Cardioid (2) (3)

]]>

This episode is all about the forgotten mathematical tool of numbers. Ok, forgotten may be a bit strong, but after a certain point in mathematics numbers seem to lose a bit of their importance. For the first few years after you start to learn math it is all add these numbers, divide this number by that one, or find that number. And then it morphs into for all numbers or let x be an arbitrary number or for epsilon greater than zero and numbers start to lose their power.

Well not on this episode. Samuel Hansen has found stories about amazing properties of numbers, how a person started collecting collections of numbers, how research can lead to a number horde which can then lead to more research, and all about favorite numbers.

Numbers Gossip:

Tanya Khovanova is a freelance mathematician and mathematical entertainer currently working as a research affiliate at MIT. She is also the mind behind Number Gossip, a website for finding out surprising things about numbers. Her son Alexey Radul helped design Number Gossip, and his son Lev helped give background noise for our interview.

Sequence Encyclopedia:

Neil Sloane started collecting sequences in 1964 as a graduate student at Cornell. His collection was first published in 1973, then again in 1995, and then became the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences in 1996. He also managed to fit 43 years of work at AT&T in there somehow. Samuel caught up with Neil Sloane at the 2012 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston

0% of All Real Numbers:

Michael Shamos is the Distinguished Career Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. His career has included mathematics, computer science, law, business, and pool. He is the author of “The Catalog of Real Numbers”

Which is Your Favorite:

Alex Bellos is a journalist and author. His most recent book Here’s Looking at Euclid(Alex’s Adventures in Number Land in the UK) is all about the world of mathematics. He is also the mind behind the Favourite Number Project.

The Favorite Number Gang:

David Spiegelhalter

Meredith Klein

Steven Brams

Scott Feld

Keith Devlin

Dan Meyer

Patrick Honner

Ron Graham

Dmitri Krioukov

Jonathon Schaeffer

Jerry Grossman

Joseph Gallian

Edmund Harris

Neil Sloane

Timothy Gowers

Nicholas Christakis

John Ewing

Michael Shamos

Jonathan Middleton

Music:

Soap and Foam

Joe Nathan 007

Jared Corak

FLANDY

Joe.Crotty

Red Shirt Beats

This episode is all about the forgotten mathematical tool of numbers. Ok, forgotten may be a bit strong, but after a certain point in mathematics numbers seem to lose a bit of their importance. For the first few years after you start to learn math it is all add these numbers, divide this number by that one, or find that number. And then it morphs into for all numbers or let x be an arbitrary number or for epsilon greater than zero and numbers start to lose their power.

Well not on this episode. Samuel Hansen has found stories about amazing properties of numbers, how a person started collecting collections of numbers, how research can lead to a number horde which can then lead to more research, and all about favorite numbers.

(download)

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via RSS

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

Numbers Gossip:

Tanya Khovanova is a freelance mathematician and mathematical entertainer currently working as a research affiliate at MIT. She is also the mind behind Number Gossip, a website for finding out surprising things about numbers. Her son Alexey Radul helped design Number Gossip, and his son Lev helped give background noise for our interview.

Sequence Encyclopedia:

Neil Sloane started collecting sequences in 1964 as a graduate student at Cornell. His collection was first published in 1973, then again in 1995, and then became the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences in 1996. He also managed to fit 43 years of work at AT&T in there somehow. Samuel caught up with Neil Sloane at the 2012 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston

0% of All Real Numbers:

Michael Shamos is the Distinguished Career Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. His career has included mathematics, computer science, law, business, and pool. He is the author of “The Catalog of Real Numbers”

Which is Your Favorite:

Alex Bellos is a journalist and author. His most recent book Here’s Looking at Euclid(Alex’s Adventures in Number Land in the UK) is all about the world of mathematics. He is also the mind behind the Favourite Number Project.

The Favorite Number Gang:

David Spiegelhalter

Meredith Klein

Steven Brams

Scott Feld

Keith Devlin

Dan Meyer

Patrick Honner

Ron Graham

Dmitri Krioukov

Jonathon Schaeffer

Jerry Grossman

Joseph Gallian

Edmund Harris

]]>

Listen to the Episode

(download)

The Mathematical Land Grab:

Edmund Harriss is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Arkansas, as well as being an artist that uses the inherent beauty of mathematics to create beautiful things in the real world. Also, he happens to have a very broad definition of mathematics.

The Out of this World News

Matt Parker is the Stand-Up Mathematician. He started out as a normal mathematics teacher and you can now see him talking about mathematics all over the UK, as well as turning up from time to time on the BBC and the pages of the Guardian. Sometimes he also makes nearly unbelievable mathematics discoveries.

La Sagrada Familia

Marcella Giulia Lorenzi works at the University of Calabria in the Laboratory for Scientific Communication, Mauro Francaviglia at the University of Torino in the Department of Mathematics, and together they wrote the article on the mathematics in Antoni Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia.

The Shape of the Internet

Dmitri Krioukov is the Senior Research Scientist for the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis at the University of California, San Diego. He, along with his collaborators, have created a new, hyperbolic map of the internet and made very interesting observations about what this new map may mean.

Music:

]]>

Listen to the Episode

(download)

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via RSS

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

The Mathematical Land Grab:

Edmund Harriss is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Arkansas, as well as being an artist that uses the inherent beauty of mathematics to create beautiful things in the real world. Also, he happens to have a very broad definition of mathematics.

The Out of this World News

Matt Parker is the Stand-Up Mathematician. He started out as a normal mathematics teacher and you can now see him talking about mathematics all over the UK, as well as turning up from time to time on the BBC and the pages of the Guardian. Sometimes he also makes nearly unbelievable mathematics discoveries.

La Sagrada Familia

Marcella Giulia Lorenzi works at the University of Calabria in the Laboratory for Scientific Communication, Mauro Francaviglia at the University of Torino in the Department of Mathematics, and together they wrote the article on the mathematics in Antoni Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia.

The Shape of the Internet

Dmitri Krioukov is the Senior Research Scientist for the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis at the University of California, San Diego. He, along with his collaborators, have created a new, hyperbolic map of the internet and made very interesting observations about what this new map may mean.

Music:

ElBjornBjorn

YJC

Ricky Splinter

Red Shirt Beats (2)

djpeef

]]>

Paul Erdos was one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th Century, the one that other mathematicians measure their distance from, and beyond that one of the most interesting. His highly collaborative, highly nomadic life brought him in touch with hundreds if not thousands of other mathematicians, and every single on of them has their own Erdos story to tell. In order to find out more about the man, Samuel Hansen spoke to three of his collaborators and the man who runs the Erdos Number Project.

(download)

Jerry Grossman is a Professor of Mathematics at Oakland University and the man behind the Erdos Number Project.

Joel Spencer is a Professor in the Computer Science and Mathematics Departments at New York University.

Carl Pomerance is the John G. Kemeny Parents Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Dartmouth College.

Ron Graham is the Irwin and Joan Jacovs Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego and Chief Scientist at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.

Music

A P Clarke

The Naughty Step (2) (3)

Raaphorst

Grant Tregellas

jmgriffiths (2)

jazzer78

Paul Erdos was one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th Century, the one that other mathematicians measure their distance from, and beyond that one of the most interesting. His highly collaborative, highly nomadic life brought him in touch with hundreds if not thousands of other mathematicians, and every single on of them has their own Erdos story to tell. In order to find out more about the man, Samuel Hansen spoke to three of his collaborators and the man who runs the Erdos Number Project.

(download)

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via RSS

Follow ACMEScience on twitter, and Samuel Hansen too, for Updates on Relatively Prime, and our other shows

Jerry Grossman is a Professor of Mathematics at Oakland University and the man behind the Erdos Number Project.

Joel Spencer is a Professor in the Computer Science and Mathematics Departments at New York University.

Carl Pomerance is the John G. Kemeny Parents Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Dartmouth College.

Ron Graham is the Irwin and Joan Jacovs Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego and Chief Scientist at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.

Music

A P Clarke

The Naughty Step (2) (3)

Raaphorst

Grant Tregellas

jmgriffiths (2)

jazzer78

]]>