Kill the Mathematical Hydra

How do you defeat a creature that grows two heads for every one head you chop off? You do the math. Mathematician Kelsey Houston-Edwards explains how to defeat a seemingly undefeatable monster using a rather unexpected mathematical proof. In this episode you’ll see mathematician vs monster, thought vs ferocity, cardinal vs ordinal. You won’t want to miss it.





Stochastic Supertasks

Supertasks allow you to accomplish an infinite number of tasks in a finite amount of time. Find out how these paradoxical feats get even stranger once randomness is introduced. What happens when you try to empty an urn full of infinite balls? It turns out that whether the vase is empty or full at the end of an infinite amount of time depends on what order you try to empty it in.


Making Probability Mathematical

Throughout much of human history, people consciously and intentionally produced randomness. They frequently used dice – or dice-shaped animal bones and other random objects – to gamble, for entertainment, predict the future and communicate with deities. Despite all this engagement with controlled random processes, people didn’t really think of probability in mathematical terms prior to 1600.


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