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Radiolab

Treat Yourself To A 'Huh?'

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Alice had this problem when she went through the looking glass: You start in a known place. You advance, step by steady step. Nothing is amiss, nothing misplaced. But when you land, everything has turned totally weird. Nothing makes sense. All you can do is go, "Huh?" Let's "Huh?" together.

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The Takeaway

A Crack at Algorithms: Bridging the Gap Between Humans and Computers

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

In a world where our lives are increasingly run by computers, algorithms have become the mathematical calculations at the center of how we find what movies to go see, what flights to take and what stocks to buy. This involves mathematical reasoning that can feel beyond the average person's reach. But Kevin Slavin, assistant professor at MIT and founder of the Playful Systems group at the MIT Media Lab, is trying to change that culture.

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Radiolab

Of Men and Myths

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A hat that goes viral, an idea that gives birth to computer science, and a life-saving maneuver.

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Radiolab

Turing's Machines

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Alan Turing's mental leaps about machines and computers were some of the most innovative ideas of the 20th century. But the world wasn't kind to him. Turing was a math genius, a hero of World War II, and is widely considered to be the father of artificial intelligence. But in ...

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Radiolab

Putting On Einstein's Glasses

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Whenever you look at the teeming, rich and oh-so-various world, if you've got the right eyes, if you've got the eyes of a mathematician, you will find patterns — simple, elegant forms hiding in everything you see.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Do We Really Need to Learn Algebra?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Nicholson Baker makes a case against requiring algebra 2 and asks “why, if math is so great and timeless and beautiful, do millions of people hate it so much?”

During his conversation with Leonard brought up a 2002 survey that found a very high correlation between people who took and succeeded algebra 2 and those who made money and were successful later in life. Baker said, “It isn’t more than a statistical correlation, but people pounced on this and said, my god! Algebra 2! It’s the mystic door! If we force every child go through this door successfully, if we make them do it and we make them succeed, then they’ll all be above average and the world will be a better place.” But he argues, that making it a requirement for everyone for college admission is “not just a waste of time but a real source of suffering for many people.” Baker noted that it shouldn't be removed entirely from the high school curriculum, but that it shouldn't be required for every student, especially for otherwise good students who are struggling to pass it. "I think kids should be compelled to take some algebra...so you get a sense of what's out there and whether you have a head for it," he said.

Many callers and commenters defended algebra, saying it teaches problem-solving and intellectual discipline, but a number of people agree with Baker that not every student should be forced to take algebra 2 if they're struggling to pass it.

Nicholson Baker's article “Wrong Answer” is in the September 2013 issue of Harper’s Magazine.

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Radiolab

Dealing with Doubt

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

World Series of Poker Champion Annie Duke has made millions playing poker. Her trick? She’s found a way to put a number on what she can and cannot know. She tells us how we might take her math-minded ways away from the card table, and put them to ...

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Radiolab

REBROADCAST: Emergence

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

This spring, parts of the East Coast will turn squishy and crunchy -- the return of the 17-year cicadas means surfaces in certain locations (in patches from VA to CT) will once again be coated in bugs buzzing at 7 kilohertz. In their honor, we're rebroadcasting one of our favorite episodes: Emergence.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Open Phones: Pi(e) Day!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today is Pi Day, where we celebrate both "π" and "pie." Glen Whitney, executive director of MoMath, discusses the mysteries of 3.14.... Plus, since we are never ones to let a good homonym pass by, we'll also talk about "pie." Do you see an intersection between math and baking? How do you plan to celebrate Pi Day? Call us at 212-433-WNYC, or 212-433-9692, or leave a comment here. 

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The Takeaway

Happy Pi Day!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Twenty five years ago, math enthusiast Larry Shaw organized the first Pi Day event in San Francisco. And today, we’re celebrating the big day with conversation and song.

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The Takeaway

Today's Takeaway | March 7, 2013

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Arms Flow as Crisis in Syria Worsens | Growing Sense of Emergency As Syrian Refugee Population Hits 1 Million | Rand Paul's 13-Hour Filibuster | Arkansas Passes Country's Most Restrictive Ban on Abortion | North Korea Threatens Preemptive Nuclear Strike |Can a Math Museum Remedy 'Math Anxiety'?

The Takeaway

Rosalind Franklin and Other Unsung Female Heroes of Science

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sixty years ago this week, James Watson and Francis Crick unveiled their model for the structure of DNA in the journal Nature. It was a revolutionary event, but it wasn’t built on their work alone.

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Studio 360

Down and Dirty at the Museum of Math?

Friday, January 25, 2013

For a long time, just about the only serious math museum in America was in New Hyde Park, New York — a Long Island suburban town you’ve probably never heard of. Then it closed in 2006, leaving no serious math museum. Did we need one to begin with? Glen Whitney thought so ...

Slideshow: Inside the Museum of Mathematics

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Radiolab

Krulwich Wonders: Wile E. Coyote Teaches Math (And Despair) To Lucky Students In New Zealand

Thursday, January 24, 2013

NPR

In New Zealand, where they do things differently, middle schoolers are taught statistics, probability and experimental science in an odd way. They explore frustrating supermarket lines, ungraspable tape, foot seeking thumbtacks and carpet soiling toast.

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Radiolab

Krulwich Wonders: Nature Has A Formula That Tells Us When It's Time To Die

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

NPR

What if I told you that there's a mathematical formula buried deep in living things that tells us — all of us, dandelions, gorillas, sea grasses, elm trees, buttercups — when it's time to die. Scientists think there is such rule. It has to do with size.

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Schoolbook

College STEM Students Offer Hands-On Mentoring

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

College students from the New York Institute of Technology volunteered at a Harlem elementary school this fall as a kind of in-house tech squad, and resident experts for science classes.

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Schoolbook

Probing Questions Inspire Award-Winning Teacher

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Naoual Eljastimi is the kind of chemistry teacher who assigns homework every day and yet receives impromptu hugs from students at Leon M. Goldstein High School. She is one of seven city teachers to receive this year's Sloan Awards for Excellence in Science and Math.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Salman Khan Reimagines Education

Friday, November 23, 2012

Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy and author of the new book The One World School House: Education Reimagined, presents his vision for the future of education.

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Radiolab

Krulwich Wonders: Mathematically-Challenging Bagels

Thursday, November 08, 2012

NPR

Surgically, this will be complicated. Mathematically, it will be elegant. What we are going to do is take an ordinary bagel, and rather than cut it in half, we are going to turn it, delicately, into two intertwining, interlocked bagel parts, connected, unbroken, one twisting through one the other. In other words, a Mobius bagel.

George W. Hart

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Schoolbook

Students Sing Out Steps to Long Division

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tapping into the popularity of PSY's "Gangnam Style" music video, students at I.S. 285 reviewed the steps of long division, with style.

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