A history of mathematics

BBC4 has made available a wonderful 10 part series titled A Brief History of Mathematics narrated by Marcus du Sautoy.

Each episode features one or two mathematicians and their great contribution to the field – the way that each is romanticised, rockstared even, makes for wonderful listening. The maths is easily understood – either easily distilled or explained in sufficiently broad brush strokes for even the layperson to understand.

Covering in chronological order Newton and Leibniz, Euler, Fourier, Galois, Gauss, Riemann and the non-Euclidians, Cantor, Poincare, Hardy and Ramanujan, and Bourbaki we encounter murder, intrigue, love, depression, suicide, fame, fortune, kings and queens and scientific revolutions – all the best parts of any field’s history. Each episode comes in around the 14 minute mark, making for a great primer on the Queen of the Sciences – recommended.