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A History of Britain in Numbers

Somehow all three of us missed this before it started: “Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, brings to life the numbers that highlight the patterns and trends that have transformed Britain”. A History of Britain in Numbers is a series of ten 15 minute programmes broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It looks like someone at the BBC has decided to extend the very popular A History of the World in 100 Objects format to a family of series A History of X in Y.

Dilnot was the first presenter of the long-running series More or Less, an Aperiodical favourite.

More information

Listen: A History of Britain in Numbers at BBC Radio 4, or the Omnibus programme containing the first five episodes, or the podcast of the whole series.

You’ll almost definitely also like More or Less.

via Tim Harford on Twitter.

Julia Robinson and Hilbert’s Tenth Problem, by George Csicsery

Over on Google+, David Roberts just posted this trailer (via Антид Ото) to a lovely documentary about Julia Robinson and her contributions towards answering Hilbert’s tenth problem.

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David Hilbert’s tenth problem was to find an algorithm to solve diophantine equations, that is, to find roots of polynomials with integer coefficients. We now know that the problem is unsolvable in general, and Julia Robinson did a lot of the work to get there; she wrote that she “couldn’t bear to die without knowing the answer.”

David asked if anyone knows of any present-day female mathematicians of similar standing to Julia Robinson. Apart from President of the IMU Ingrid Daubechies and people who are active on Twitter my knowledge of top mathmos is quite poor, so I thought I’d open the question up to The Aperiodical’s readers.

The full DVD of Julia Robinson and Hilbert’s Tenth Problem is available from George Csicsery’s ZALA Films site, and it looks like there are a few copies on Amazon as well.

It’s Imminently Time For Relatively Prime

Long-standing chum of The Aperiodical, Samuel Hansen, has been spending the past year travelling round the world recording interviews and collecting audio for an ambitious series of programs about maths called Relatively Prime: Stories from the mathematical domain. The first episode will be released next Monday.

Sam’s written a nice long press release explaining what the show’s about so, rather than use my own stupid words, I’ll let him tell you all about it:

Colors of Math, a documentary movie

Have a look at this trailer for a new film about maths: