Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Go Forth and Multiply

Last week the BBC Horizon series showed a programme entitled

in which Oxford Professor Marcus du Sautoy tried to show comedian Alan Davies what is so amazing about Mathematics:

Ever since he was at school, actor and comedian Alan Davies has hated maths. And like many people, he is not much good at it either. But Alan has always had a sneaking suspicion that he was missing out.

So, with the help of top mathematician Professor Marcus du Sautoy, Alan is going to embark on a maths odyssey. Together they visit the fourth dimension, cross the universe and explore the concept of infinity. Along the way, Alan does battle with some of the toughest maths questions of our age.

But did his abilities peak 25 years ago when he got his grade C O-Level?

Or will Alan be able to master the most complex maths concept there is?

Being a fan of Marcus du Sautoy I throroughly enjoyed the programme and showed it to my third years, who were similarly entranced by Marcus's unending enthusiasm. By the end of the programme my pupils were asking me questions about the shape of the universe, prime numbers and why they have to do arithmetic. All good stuff!

You can still catch the programme on the BBC iPlayer for the next month (click on the link above) and, for more of Marcus's revelations about the beauty of Mathematics, check out some of his books including

(available now in the school library)

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