17 January 2009

Mathematics Illuminated

While at the laundromat today, I saw an episode of Mathematics Illuminated, about game theory. This is a series of 13 half-hour episodes on "major themes in the field of mathematics"; the game theory episode covered Nash equilibria, the prisoner's dilemma, evolutionarily stable strategies, etc. (I may be leaving out some things, because there was laundry-machine noise.) Their intended audience seems to be high school teachers and interested but perhaps mathematically unsophisticated adult learners.

It appears you can watch the whole series online. The main mathematician involved is Dan Rockmore of Dartmouth.

(And no, I don't know what channel it was on. Like I said, it wasn't my TV.)


jd2718 said...

Without watching the whole thing, can you say a bit more about the target level, the clarity of presentation, etc, etc, etc (with a positive rec I might commit myself to watching a bunch, and then getting my school to order... but I'd like to know a little more before I plant myself)



tdstephens3 said...

(And no, I don't know what channel it was on. Like I said, it wasn't my TV.)

This would have appeared on a public television channel. The series is produced by Annenberg Media, the same group that brought us The Constitution, That Delicate Balance (http://www.learner.org/resources/series72.html).

Chris Wellons said...

They yell at you all over the place about "streaming only!", but I found streaming to be somewhat inconvenient. If you have VLC, you can losslessly download/save any episode with this command,

vlc mms://media.scctv.net/annenberg/wm9/math_illuminated_01.wmv -I dummy --sout math_illuminated_01.wmv

Just change both 01 parts to the number (01, 02, ..., 13). Each is about 65MB. You don't even need to register to do this.

Something with wget would have been nice, but you need vlc to talk mms:// with the server.

Le Stew said...

Hi! I'm so glad you found the show and enjoyed it! I was lucky enough to Produce 6 of the 13 episodes. It was designed to be a Continuing Educational Curriculum for Middle and High School Teachers. If you get a chance you should go back to the site and take a look at all of the interactives and printed material we produced.

Sadly it is only streaming (and Windows Media at that). But we did clear it for distribution to Libraries and schools so you might be able to find a copy there.

Again I am SO glad you found the show and seemed to enjoy it!

Thanks again!