Mathematical mysteries have challenged humanity’s most powerful thinkers and inspired passionate, lifelong obsessions in search of answers. From the strangeness of prime numbers and the nature of infinity, to the turbulent flow of fluids and the geometry of hyperspace, mathematics is our most potent tool for revealing immutable truths. The event was a vibrant tour to the boundaries of the mathematical universe, and explore the deep puzzles that have been solved, the masterminds who powered the breakthroughs, and the towering challenges that have shaken the confidence of some of today’s most accomplished mathematicians—even as they enlist new ways to pursue mathematical truths.
This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.
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Original Program Date: June 3, 2011
MODERATOR: Robert Krulwich
PARTICIPANTS: Jonathan Borwein, Keith Devlin, Marcus du Sautoy, Simon Singh
Welcome to the Mathematical Universe. 00:13
Participant Introductions. 01:50
What about math got you interested in the subject? 04:07
Is math an instinct in humans? 10:20
When in history did the number come into existence? 15:22
Math was key to ancient survival. 20:27
1 1=0 Adding in binary. 25:59
Why are some people better at math than others? 26:55
Nontransitive dice game. 33:44
What's the best story about math... Infinite primes? 38:05
Do all math problems have an answer? 44:33
The computer replacing the mathematician? 54:40
Can we mathematically understand the universe we are in without seeing it? 58:48
Perfect Rigour and Grigori Perelman solved the Poincare Conjecture 01:03:10
If you have determination math is easy. 01:09:09
Mathematics is hierarchical and you need to start from the beginning. 01:13:07
This site provides links to random videos hosted at YouTube, with the emphasis on random.
The original idea for this site actually stemmed from another idea to provide a way of benchmarking the popularity of a video against the general population of YouTube videos. There are probably sites that do this by now, but there wasn’t when we started out. Anyway, in order to figure out how popular any one video is, you need a pretty large sample of videos to rank it against. The challenge is that the sample needs to be very random in order to properly rank a video and YouTube doesn’t appear to provide a way to obtain large numbers of random video IDs.
Even if you search on YouTube for a random string, the set of results that will be returned will still be based on popularity, so if you’re using this approach to build up your sample, you’re already in trouble. It turns out there is a multitude of ways in which the YouTube search function makes it very difficult to retrieve truly random results.
So how can we provide truly random links to YouTube videos? It turns out that the YouTube programming interface (API) provides additional functions that allow the discovery of videos which, with the right approach, are much more random. Using a number of tricks, combined some subtle manipulation of the space-time fabric, we have managed to create a process that yields something very close to 100% random links to YouTube videos.
YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. YouTube allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to playlists, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users. It offers a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos. Most content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, and Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos deemed potentially inappropriate are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old.
YouTube and selected creators earn advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, subscription services respectively offering premium and ad-free music streaming, and ad-free access to all content, including exclusive content commissioned from notable personalities. As of February 2017, there were more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, and one billion hours of content being watched on YouTube every day. As of August 2018, the website is ranked as the second-most popular site in the world, according to Alexa Internet, just behind Google. As of May 2019, more than 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
YouTube has faced criticism over aspects of its operations, including its handling of copyrighted content contained within uploaded videos, its recommendation algorithms perpetuating videos that promote conspiracy theories and falsehoods, hosting videos ostensibly targeting children but containing violent and/or sexually suggestive content involving popular characters, videos of minors attracting pedophilic activities in their comment sections, and fluctuating policies on the types of content that is eligible to be monetized with advertising.