A Brief History of Mathematics

A Brief History of Mathematics

United Kingdom

Professor of Mathematics Marcus du Sautoy reveals the personalities behind the calculations and argues that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science

Episodes

Nicolas Bourbaki  

This ten part history of mathematics from Newton to the present day, reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Professor Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. Today, the mathematician that never was, Nicolas Bourbaki. A group of French mathematicians, working between the two world wars and writing under the pseudonym Nicolas Bourbaki transformed their discipline and paved the way for several mathematical breakthroughs in the 21st century. Producer: Anna Buckley.

Hardy and Ramanujan  

This ten part history of mathematics from Newton to the present day, reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Professor Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. Today, G.H.Hardy, the mathematician who insisted he had never done anything useful. And yet his work on the "diabolical malice" inherent in prime numbers inspired the millions of codes that now help to keep the internet safe. Producer: Anna Buckley.

Henri Poincare  

This ten part history of mathematics from Newton to the present day, reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Professor Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. Today Henri Poincare, the man who proved there are certain problems that mathematics will never be able to answer: a mathematical insight that gave rise to chaos theory. Producer: Anna Buckley.

Georg Cantor  

This ten part history of mathematics from Newton to the present day, reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Professor Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. Today, Georg Cantor, the mathematician who showed us how to carry on counting when the numbers run out. An insight into the nature of infinity that Roger Penrose believes helps to explain why the human brain will always be cleverer than artificial intelligence. Producer: Anna Buckley.

The Mathematicians Who Helped Einstein  

This ten part history of mathematics from Newton to the present day, reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Professor Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. Today, the pioneering nineteenth century mathematicians who helped Albert Einstein with his maths: Jonas Bolyai, Nicolas Loachevski and Bernhard Riemann. Without the mathematics to describe curved space and multiple dimensions, the theory of relativity doesn't really work. Producer: Anna Buckley.

Carl Friedrich Gauss  

This ten part history of mathematics from Newton to the present day, reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Professor Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. It was the German scientist and mathematician, Carl Friedrich Gauss, who said mathematics was the Queen of Science. One of his many mathematical breakthroughs, the Gaussian or normal distribution, is the lifeblood of statistics. It underpins modern medicine and is a valuable tool in the fight against prejudice. Producer: Anna Buckley.

Evariste Galois  

This ten part history of mathematics from Newton to the present day, reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Professor Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. Today how the mathematics of the French revolutionary, Evariste Galois, has proved invaluable to particle physicists working today. The mathematics that Galois began, over two hundred years ago, now absolutely describes the fundamental particles that make up our universe. Producer: Anna Buckley.

Joseph Fourier  

This ten part history of mathematics from Newton to the present day, reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Professor Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. Today, the mathematics of Joseph Fourier. It's thanks to his mathematical insight that you can hear Marcus on the radio and that Brian Eno can create sounds that have never been heard before. Producer: Anna Buckley.

Leonard Euler  

This ten part history of mathematics reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Professor Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. Today, how the mathematics that Leonard Euler invented two hundred years ago has transformed the internet. Euler's solution to an eighteenth century conundrum paved the way for the search engines most of us use every day . Producer: Anna Buckley.

Newton and Leibniz  

This ten part history of mathematics reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. Today, the story of two late 17th century mathematicians who worked on the same problem at the same time - the calculus - in which the great hero of British science, Newton, reveals himself to be a little less gentlemanly than his German rival, Leibniz. The calculus is one of the greatest achievements of mankind: an astronaut and an investment analyst pay homage to its enormous power. Producer: Anna Buckley.

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