Just the thought of it makes some people sweat, while for others math simply brings on a yawn. But forget all those anxiety-ridden memories, because in this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, we'll calculate why math's not as square as you remember. From duels to suicides, secrecy to greed, poetry and beauty and sex and love, they're all in the numbers. Also, some thoughts on whether calculus is an endangered theory.
Mathematician David Berlinski tells Jim Fleming that calculus is about to be obsolete and that without its integrals, functions and derivatives, our lives will be the poorer. Berlinski is the author of "A Tour of the Calculus."SEGMENT 2:
Michael Guillen teaches math and physics at Harvard and is the author of "Five Equations That Changed the World: The Power and Poetry of Mathematics." He tells Judith Strasser what the five equations are, how they came to be written and why the 2nd law of thermodynamics is his personal favorite. Also, Amir B. Aczel teaches statistics at Bentley College and is the author of "Fermat's Last Theorem: Unlocking the Secret of the Ancient Mathematical Problem." He tells Steve Paulson that the recently discovered proof has no practical value, but that the history of the 350 year hunt for it is fascinating.SEGMENT 3:
Sue Woolfe has written a novel ("Leaning Toward Infinity") in which the daughter of a family whose women are obsessed with math discovers a brand new number and transforms her life. Woolfe tells Judith Strasser what made her see the beauty of math.
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