Thursday, 8 January 2009

Story of Maths on BBC World

Our journey round the world to uncover the story of Maths is appropriately going to be shown on BBC World throughout January. The programmes originally broadcast on BBC4 in October and were available on BBC iPlayer but those outside the UK were unable to catch the series. Now is your chance.

SHOWING TIMES for Programme One: The Language of the Universe.
Showing Saturday 10th January at 0810 GMT.
Repeated: Saturday at 1810 GMT and Sunday 11th at 0210 and 1410 GMT.

If that isn't possible then the series is also available on DVD from the Open University although I'm afraid it is a little pricey which is a shame.

Exciting news: the BBC has chosen The Story of Maths as one of its entries for the Royal Television Awards in Science and History.

BBC World website


daman kohli said...

i have been regularly watching the story of maths on BBC's astonishing to discover the facts that most of the concepts were discovered in my native land INDIA... but to me the story of maths is universal.. as a computer science student i can truly feel the importance of the concepts of prime nos,Leibniz calculator that centuries ago discovered the foundation of modern computer systems.. it's brilliant that some one has painstakingly discovered the history of maths... to uncover a beautiful world that looks dangerous from outside,but believe me it's fascinating from inside....

I hope many more will take up maths after this series of documentaries ...

Fiona said...

Hi Marcus,
I really enjoyed your interview in The Independent magazine – your Story of Maths on the BBC would be one of the most interesting and thought-provoking factual programmes that I have watched in the past year. This is from the perspective of a marketing professional, with a passion for history and art, who topped her classes in math until suffering a string of mediocre math teachers from the second year of secondary school. Inspired by the fabulous geometric patterns seen during a visit to the Alhambra Palace 2 years ago, I have been re-educating myself in maths/science from a historical and artistic perspective. How I wish I was taught in these contexts at school!!

From watching your show, there were a couple of concepts that, for the first time, I understood what they meant (e.g. what quadratic equations are for) – amazing that this had never been explained to me before in a visual way I could understand!

I loved your idea for an internet math school - though please don’t make it just for kids – there are many grown-ups like myself who would love the opportunity to revisit and finally understand the math they missed out on.

I think your idea has huge potential, and I started to think about how you could do it given the lack of able developers in the UK. I would suggest that you create an open platform where people from all over the world can submit games/learning modules (similar to the iPhone app store but free). With backing from some high profile key sponsors (employers of math graduates e.g. technology firms, banks) to build and market the platform, incentivised by, for example, naming rights for competitions for the best apps, you could create a real buzz in the online community that would overflow into the offline world. With some savvy marketing/PR, you could attract the input of the best and brightest developers from all over the world, who would donate their time for free – just for the challenge, as they do for Wikipedia, Linux development, iPhone apps, etc. You could be well on your way to achieving your objective within a year.
I have a keen interest in the online world, and from my experience as ex-Senior Innovation Manager for the Lloyds TSB Retail Bank, I have created and evaluated business models and plans for a variety of on and offline offerings. It is not often that I have looked at an idea, and instantly thought - yes, that's doable and sustainable - but that's the reaction I had to your internet math school. I think that handled as a moderated, open-source project, headed by an enthusiastic visionary such as yourself, your project is imminently doable with limited resources.

Please feel free to email me at the address provided if you would like to talk further. Happy to share my ideas with you if they will help deliver your vision.

Keep on inspiring – you are making a difference.

Kind regards,
Fiona McConnell
PS I've loved that Terry Pratchett quote since the first time I read it - if you aren't a regular reader of his work, I recommend you start - some fabulous concepts that will appeal to your mathematical brain.

Unknown said...

why don't they put them on iTunes?