In the world of science documentaries the subject of mathematics, let’s be honest, is an underdog. There aren’t that many documentaries, but the quality of them, more often than not, is quite good. “The Story of Math” is not an exception. It’s another interesting documentary hosted by Marcus du Sautoy. So let’s check it out.
Marcus Peter Francis du Sautoy (born in London in 1965) is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. Besides his academic work he is well known as a popularizer of mathematics and science. “The Story of Math” is one of his newer works and my personal favourite. It’s basically a short history of mathematics delivered in a relaxed and fun way. Marcus du Sautoy tells the story of mathematics from the foundations to modern application in finances, physics, architecture and astronomy.
The roots of mathematics hide deep in the ancient history and Sautoy does a great job of revealing it to the viewers. It’s not a collection of facts from the history of mathematics, but rather a journey packed with engaging anecdotes, fascinating biographical details, and pivotal episodes in the lives of the great mathematicians. And as unbelievable as it sounds, the history is full of interesting mathematicians. A great example of this would be an amazing story of Evariste Galois, a 20 year-old mathematician, who revolutionized mathematics with his outstanding discoveries completed on the night before the duel in which he was killed. But that’s not it, Marcus du Sautoy even tells about the 16th century mathematic duels in Itally where the most skilled mathematicians would duel to gain various prizes and fame.
All of this and so much more is told and shown throughout the 4 episodes, which focus on diffrent areas of mathematics and different historical periods and locations. The episodes are as follows:
- The Language of the Universe
- The Genius of the East
- The Frontiers of Space
- To Infinity and Beyond
In conclusion it’s a great fun DVD recommended for anyone. However, even though the subject matter is not only fun but also informative, it is geared more towards everyday viewers, so if you’re looking for a serious math history try a good book (maybe we’ll check out some of them later).
About the DVD:
- Format: Box set, Color, DVD, Widescreen, NTSC
- Language: English
- Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. European users please use: Region 2 Version)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
- Number of discs: 3
- Studio: Athena
- DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010
- Run Time: 232 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars (15 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00331RHEU
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,954 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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Category: Physics & Science Documentaries