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Think Like a Mathematician and Avoid Being Wrong

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jordan Ellenberg explains why math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do. In How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, Ellenberg reveals the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world and explains how math is actually a science of not being wrong that’s been hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument.

Guests:

Jordan Ellenberg

Comments [8]

elise from si

apologies for the poor wording b4 - shoulda' been:
i've always found that there's disconnect between mathematical thinking based on probability and where our legal system in the english language, is derived from a religious perspective, an absolutist perspective of sorts. anyone?

Jun. 12 2014 01:29 PM
Ruth from New Jersey

Re: Mathematics being mostly words- My husband is a Mathematician who worked in Several Complex Variables. I used to joke that I know what Several means. And Complex. And I know what variable means, but put them all together and it's Greek to me! Oh, and Mathematics has a lot of Greek too!

Jun. 12 2014 01:27 PM
elise from si

i've always found that there's disconnect between mathematical thinking based on probability and where our legal system is derived in english language is derived from a religious perspective, an absolutist perspective of sorts. anyone?

Jun. 12 2014 01:22 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

This guy is a nerd. You're either born a nerd or not born a nerd. You cannot learn to become a nerd. Nerds are born not made.

Jun. 12 2014 01:17 PM
Amy from Manhattan

One of the best books I read in high school (in the HS library--it wasn't assigned in any of my courses) was "How to Lie with Statistics," by Darrell Huff. What it's really about is how to know when you're being *lied to* w/statistics. I think everyone should read it.

Jun. 12 2014 01:16 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I'd be more likely to master Mandarin than mathematics. I do believe it's either inborn talent or not. I was a wiz at arithmetic but a total flop at mathematics. I believe mathematics is a talent you either are born with or not, as is the case with other natural talents.

Jun. 12 2014 01:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I'd be more likely to master Mandarin than mathematics. I do believe it's either inborn talent or not. I was a wiz at arithmetic but a total flop at mathematics. I believe mathematics is a talent you either are born with or not, as is the case with other natural talents.

Jun. 12 2014 01:13 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Exactly, a combination of synta and logic, sense of beauty, and sense of structure. And refusal to accept what is not proven conclusively, as is appropriate to this field of knowledge.

Jun. 12 2014 12:51 PM

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