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Podcasts for a university mathematics student

Yesterday, I was asked by Mariana Farinha for podcasts I would recommend to a college student of Mathematics. I assume this is college in the American sense, i.e. university. Though targetting an audience is usually a broad business, so with a suitable margin of error I replied with a few, retweeted the request and a few others replied. Here are the suggestions. What would you recommend? Leave a comment!

Relatively Prime

The premier maths documentary podcast, created by Samuel Hansen in 2012 following a successful Kickstarter. Relatively Prime is eight shows of stories behind mathematics, with topics including game-playing computers, music and architecture.

Travels in a Mathematical World

Cobbled together while I was working for the IMA, Travels in a Mathematical World mostly features short interviews with working mathematicians about their work. 2008-2010.

Plus Podcast

The Plus Podcast mostly features interviews on a diverse range of mathematical topics to support their written articles. Going since 2007 and still releasing new episodes, though infrequently.

All Squared

All Squared is the Aperiodical’s own Katie Steckles and Christian Perfect in conversation with interesting mathematicians. Started in 2013 and still going, as far as I know, though infrequently.

A Brief History of Mathematics

Proper BBC Radio 4 documentary, A Brief History of Mathematics is ten episodes of maths history by Marcus du Sautoy first broadcast in 2010, each themed around a particular mathematician or group of mathematicians.

Math Mutation

Math Mutation is a curious, short podcast in which Erik Seligman aims to explore “fun, interesting, or just plain weird corners of mathematics that you probably didn’t hear in school” (school, presumably, in the American sense). Going since 2007 and still releasing new episodes, though infrequently.

Combinations and Permuations

I believe host Samuel Hansen would describe Combinations and Permuations as a jokey panel discussion about mathematics. 2009-2011.

Strongly Connected Components

Strongly Connected Components is a series of 51 episodes released between 2009-2012 in which Samuel Hansen interviews an interesting range of mathematicians.

The Math Factor

The Math Factor is a podcast on mathematics, logic and puzzles with Chaim Goodman-Strauss and Kyle Kellams in a series of radio episodes released between 2005 and 2010.

Recommended by others

Will Davies made four recommendations.

  • Wrong, But Useful: Colin Beveridge and Dave Gale discuss mathematical miscellany. I hadn’t mentioned Wrong, But Useful because I feel it is quite teacher-oriented and the query was for undergrads, but perhaps that’s unfair.
  • More or Less. Statistical current affairs from Tim Harford and the team, broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Didn’t I recommend More or Less? Oops! I always assume everyone listens to More or Less.
  • The Naked Scientists, apparently, comprises “a media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University who use radio, live lectures, and the Internet to strip science down to its bare essentials, and promote it to the general public”.
  • Probably Science: “four professional comedians and incompetent scientists take you through this week in science. Incompetently.”

Colin Beveridge suggested science story-fest RadioLab, saying “it’s not often on maths, but it’s rarely dull.”

Samuel Hansen, as well as some of those above, added Math/Maths. I didn’t include this because I think of it as a topical show and it is on extended hiatus or ended (the hosts aren’t clear which), and because a problem with the Pulse-Project site currently means the RSS feed (and therefore iTunes) don’t show any episodes.

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