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Relatively Prime Recap: Season 2, Episode 7: $f(\theta) = 1 – \theta$

f(theta) = 1 - sin(\theta)

I’d have written it as $r = 1 – \theta$, myself, but even then it’s not much of a heart. However, that’s pretty much my biggest gripe about this episode, the penultimate in series 2 of Samuel Hansen’s one-of-a-kind mathematics podcast, Relatively Prime.

Episode 7 is subtitled “Dating in the mathematical domain”, and looks at the maths involved in dating and relationships, and begins with some of the comments Sam’s dating profile received from non-mathematicians. Now, denizens of the dating world: Samuel has many flaws and failings; picking on the fact that he’s a mathematician seems a little arbitrary and unfair, like deciding not to vote for Donald Trump because you don’t like his tie. I have this unfamiliar sensation. Could it be… surely not? It appears that I feel a little sorry for Samuel. Don’t tell him, ok?

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!

More Or Less integer sequence solution revealed (spoilers!)

Radio 4 maths police More or Less took time off from calling out journalists and deputy prime ministers for their misuse of statistics this series to sneak a hidden maths puzzle into their show. The first five episodes were “brought to us by” the numbers, respectively, 1, 49, 100, 784 and 1444. Listeners were invited to work out what number would bring us the final episode.

Integer sequence puzzle in More or Less

More or Less, the BBC’s maths and statistics radio show, has been sneakily doing a puzzle on us for the last few weeks. The episodes in the series so far have each been ‘brought to you’, Sesame Street-style, by a different number. But what will the final episode be? Can you crack the integer code and solve the puzzle?

The puzzle was announced in the programme broadcast on the 27th of September; you can listen to it on the Radio 4 site or as a podcast (the puzzle bit is at 27:05). If you think you’ve solved the riddle, email More or Less through their website.

The episodes so far have been brought to you by the numbers 1, 49, 100, 784 and 1444. (It’s not in the OEIS; we’ve checked). You can find out if you’re right when the final episode in the series goes out, on BBC Radio 4 at 4.30pm on Friday 4th October.

More information

More or Less official website

More or Less in the BBC News Magazine

More or Less podcast

Contact More or Less

Watch Tim Harford recording a new radio show about economics for the BBC

Fans of Tim Harford and his work on BBC Radio 4’s More or Less will be excited to learn he’s doing a new radio show about economics. In this post on his blog, he explains the show will be called ‘Pop Up Economics’, and consist of short stories about important people and ideas in economics.

The show is being recorded in the evening this coming Tuesday 4th December, in London, and if you’d like to go along, you can email popupeconomics@bbc.co.uk for tickets and details.

Via @TimHarford on Twitter.

More and Less

I’m currently reading The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford, presenter of Radio 4 maths show More or Less. It’s very good, but one thing is stopping me from giving it an unqualified recommendation: it’s full of passages like this:

[T]he government spends three hundred dollars per person (five times less than the British government and seven times less than the American government)

Because of its lousy education system, Cameroon is perhaps twice as poor as it could be.

The poorest tenth of the population spends almost seven times less on fuel than the richest tenth, as a percentage of their much smaller income.

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