Maths - In the spotlight

11th May 2012 at 01:00

Mathematical conundrums

Giving maths an entertaining slant, Brady Haran (aka TES content partner Numberphile) has created a selection of videos exploring obscure number problems for the University of Nottingham.

What are they?

Video topics include:

Googol and googolplex - thinking in "big numbers". Tony Padilla and Ria Symonds from the University of Nottingham discuss a Googolplex-sized Universe, explaining why you might stumble across exact copies of yourself in this enormous space.

Perfect numbers. Introducing perfect numbers using 8,128 as an example. This video raises a series of questions, such as how many of these numbers really exist.

17 and Sudoku clues. Dr James Grime explores how mathematicians proved that 17 is the minimum number of clues required to give a unique Sudoku solution.

The history of pi. Author Alex Bellos and Professor Roger Bowley reminisce about the wonders of pi, the most famous number in maths.

255 and Pac-Man. Explaining the theory behind binary, this fascinating video reveals why Pac-Man is impossible to play beyond level 255.

Why are they useful?

Use the videos to kickstart your lessons. Engaging and interesting, they take students on a journey through the mathematical wonders of the world.

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