The Story Of Math (aka The Story Of Maths/Athena
B- Sound: B- Extras: B Episodes: A
Renowned Oxford mathematician and
researcher Marcus du Sautoy proves himself a brilliant teacher in The Story of Math. With the help of his Athena/BBC production
team, he tackles a subject as far reaching and complex as the history and
development of mathematics, and manages to make it both interesting and
accessible to even non-mathematically minded viewers. Mr. du Sautoy's writing and narration are top
notch, and no theorem is left unsolved as the episodes trace the earliest usage
of mathematics from the chaotic markets and courts of the Bronze Age to the
dreams of the Space Age.
1: The Language of the Universe",
tracks the earliest usage and development of mathematics by the ancient
Babylonians and Egyptians, and then covers the massive contributions of the
Greeks (Plato and Pythagoras chief among them). "Episode 2: The Genius of the East", explores Chinese, Indian, and Arab
contributions to mathematics. "Episode
3: The Frontiers of Space",
introduces viewers to Descartes' algebra and geometry, and discusses the
ground-breaking writings of Sir Issac Newton. "Episode 4: To Infinity and Beyond", explores the early applications of
mathematics to explain the structure of the Solar System.
from numerous experts in varied fields, wonderful re-enactments, and excellent
graphics make this four disc boxed set a wonderful teaching tool. It comes with a handy Viewer's Guide booklet
that summarizes the key points of each of the four episodes, provides
additional diagrams, and contains a handy glossary of mathematical terms. Athena Learning must have had the classroom in
mind when producing this set, and Mr. du Sautoy's easy narration will serve to
engage even the most apathetic of students.
has also included a bonus feature entitled The
Music of the Primes which investigates prime numbers and their relationship
to complex theories like the Riemann hypothesis.
The Story of Math tackles a tough subject with
aplomb, and will be as at home in the classroom as it is in the living room!
- Scott Pyle