The BBC Does Mathematics


I’ve discovered a nice podcast that is produced by the BBC: In Our Time. Melvyn Bragg hosts a different group of guests every week, depending on the topic being discussed, which can be anything related to the history of ideas. I’ve enjoyed hearing how the Book of Common Prayer came to be, the significance of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and how radio was invented, among many interesting topics. Melvyn keeps things moving along, and the guests are always very knowledgeable and entertaining.

Of course, I most enjoy the math-related conversations, so for my fellow math teachers here is a list of the programs – at least the ones I’ve found so far – that are devoted to that subject (click on the title to go to that program’s download page):

Mathematics (May 6, 1999)

Maths and Storytelling (September 10, 1999)

Mathematics and Platonism (January 11, 2001)

Zero (May 13, 2004)

Renaissance Maths (June 2, 2005)

Mathematics and Music (May 25, 2006)

The Fibonacci Sequence (November 29, 2007)

Pythagoras (December 9, 2009)

Mathematics’ Unintended Consequences (February 10, 2010)

Imaginary Numbers (September 22, 2010)

Logic (October 20, 2010)

Random and Pseudorandom (January 12, 2011)

Fermat’s Last Theorem (October 24, 2012)

e (September 24, 2014)

P vs NP (November 4, 2015)

Euclid’s Elements (April 28, 2016)

Zeno’s Paradoxes (September 21, 2016)

You can subscribe to the In Our Time podcast via iTunes by clicking here.

Happy listening!

Update: Here’s a new one – Maths In The Early Islamic World.