June 08, 2021
Tedy Nenu
Season 1
Episode 11

Vicky Neale on 'Why Study Mathematics?' and the Twin Prime Conjecture | Episode 11

Philosophical Trials

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Philosophical Trials

Vicky Neale on 'Why Study Mathematics?' and the Twin Prime Conjecture | Episode 11

Jun 08, 2021
Season 1
Episode 11

Tedy Nenu

Dr Vicky Neale is the Whitehead Lecturer at the Mathematical Institute and Balliol College at the University of Oxford. She is also a Supernumerary Fellow at Balliol and the author of two great books aimed at general audiences, namely ‘Closing the Gap’ and ‘Why Study Mathematics?’.

Vicky Neale is a great communicator of Mathematics. She was given an MPLS Teaching Award in 2016 and she also won an award for being the Most Acclaimed Lecturer in MPLS in the student-led Oxford University Student Union Teaching Awards 2015.

Follow her on Twitter: @VickyMaths1729

For some clear proofs of a selection of mathematical theorems, check out her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBGhXXBCAzbzQV65JZoGhjw and her blog https://theoremoftheweek.wordpress.com/

Conversation Outline:

00:00 Guest Introduction

01:05 Vicky’s mathematical background

04:13 Motivations for writing a book on reasons to study mathematics

07:11 Are good reasons for studying Mathematics timeless? Would this book have more or less the same contents, had it been written many years ago?

10:10 Is the job of pure mathematicians safe from AI developments?

12:13 What are the benefits (for the non-mathematician) of knowing about mathematical notions such as integrals, derivatives, matrices and so on?

15:39 Are some people more mathematically talented than others?

18:45 Does the discussion of talent change when we are talking about research-level Mathematics? Douglas Hofstadter’s experience.

22:45 Aesthetics of Mathematics

25:00 Is Number Theory more beautiful than other mathematical subfields?

25:52 A mathematician’s view of the metaphysics of numbers

27:58 Fermat’s Last Theorem, Andrew Wiles and finding meaning in Mathematics

29:26 FLT and the Twin Prime Conjecture

32:27 Should graduate students tackle famous open problems?

33:41 Closing the Gap: significant progress towards solving the Twin Prime Conjecture

35:10 Polymath: an example of collaborative Mathematics

39:40 Do we have reasons to believe that the Twin Prime Conjecture is actually true?

Enjoy!

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/philosophical-trials/id1513707135

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/show/3Sz88leU8tmeKe3MAZ9i10

Google Podcasts:

https://podcasts.google.com/?q=philosophical%20trials

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/tedynenu/

Vicky Neale is a great communicator of Mathematics. She was given an MPLS Teaching Award in 2016 and she also won an award for being the Most Acclaimed Lecturer in MPLS in the student-led Oxford University Student Union Teaching Awards 2015.

Follow her on Twitter: @VickyMaths1729

For some clear proofs of a selection of mathematical theorems, check out her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBGhXXBCAzbzQV65JZoGhjw and her blog https://theoremoftheweek.wordpress.com/

Conversation Outline:

00:00 Guest Introduction

01:05 Vicky’s mathematical background

04:13 Motivations for writing a book on reasons to study mathematics

07:11 Are good reasons for studying Mathematics timeless? Would this book have more or less the same contents, had it been written many years ago?

10:10 Is the job of pure mathematicians safe from AI developments?

12:13 What are the benefits (for the non-mathematician) of knowing about mathematical notions such as integrals, derivatives, matrices and so on?

15:39 Are some people more mathematically talented than others?

18:45 Does the discussion of talent change when we are talking about research-level Mathematics? Douglas Hofstadter’s experience.

22:45 Aesthetics of Mathematics

25:00 Is Number Theory more beautiful than other mathematical subfields?

25:52 A mathematician’s view of the metaphysics of numbers

27:58 Fermat’s Last Theorem, Andrew Wiles and finding meaning in Mathematics

29:26 FLT and the Twin Prime Conjecture

32:27 Should graduate students tackle famous open problems?

33:41 Closing the Gap: significant progress towards solving the Twin Prime Conjecture

35:10 Polymath: an example of collaborative Mathematics

39:40 Do we have reasons to believe that the Twin Prime Conjecture is actually true?

Enjoy!

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/philosophical-trials/id1513707135

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/show/3Sz88leU8tmeKe3MAZ9i10

Google Podcasts:

https://podcasts.google.com/?q=philosophical%20trials

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/tedynenu/