Numbers on the Air

Radio Lab, probably the smartest science show on the radio,—no offense Science Friday, but there is no contest here—aired a show devoted to “Numbers” in October, but I only caught the podcast recently. It’s worth a listen.

Historians of science might be attracted to a bit speaking about combinatorists’ Erdös numbers, via Paul Hoffman.

But even more exciting: the show succeeds in making math relevent crucial to humanity and culture. We see math as the catalyst of friendship, math in the midst of a detective story (Benford’s Law!), and math as potentially a human imperative.

I even caught references to log tables. My heart went all a-flutter.

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