Physicists, air traffic controllers, and video game creators all have at least one thing in common: vectors. But what exactly are they, and why do they matter? David Huynh explains how vectors are a prime example of the elegance, beauty, and fundamental usefulness of mathematics.

# Tag: Mathematics

## TED-Ed: How the Königsberg bridge problem changed mathematics

You’d have a hard time finding the medieval city Königsberg on any modern maps, but one particular quirk in its geography has made it one of the most famous cities in mathematics. Dan Van der Vieren explains how grappling with Königsberg’s puzzling seven bridges led famous mathematician Leonhard Euler to invent a new field of …

## University of Edinburgh: Jim Al-Khalili | Alan Turing: Legacy of a Code Breaker

From cryptanalysis and the cracking of the German Enigma Code during the Second World War to his work on artificial intelligence, Alan Turing was without doubt one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. An extraordinarily gifted mathematician, he is rightly regarded as the father of computer science having set in place the formal …

## The Royal Institution: Our Mathematical Universe with Max Tegmark

Our universe isn’t just described by mathematics, but it is mathematics. Specifically, it’s a mathematical structure. Our world doesn’t just have some mathematical properties: it fundamentally has only mathematical properties. Why is mathematics so spectacularly successful at describing the cosmos? In this Ri talk, MIT physics professor Max Tegmark proposes a radical idea: that our …

## Randall Munroe: Comics that ask “what if?”

Web cartoonist Randall Munroe answers simple what-if questions (“what if you hit a baseball moving at the speed of light?”) using math, physics, logic and deadpan humor. In this charming talk, a reader’s question about Google’s data warehouse leads Munroe down a circuitous path to a hilariously over-detailed answer.

## Stephen Wolfram: Computing a theory of everything

Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica, talks at TED about his quest to make all knowledge computational — able to be searched, processed and manipulated. His new search engine, Wolfram Alpha, has no lesser goal than to model and explain the physics underlying the universe. Stephen Wolfram: Computing a theory of everything [KGVID width=”720″ height=”400″]http://www.ourprg.com/Video/StephenWolfram_2010-480p-en.mp4[/KGVID]

## Hannah Fry: Is life really that complex?

TED presents Hannah Fry who in this accessible talk shows how complex social behavior can be analyzed and perhaps predicted through apt analogies to natural phenomena, like the patterns of a leopard’s spots or the distribution of predators and prey in the wild. Hannah Fry trained as a mathematician, and completed her PhD in fluid dynamics …