Crunching numbers: close encounters with math
Originally aired March 14, 2015
In honour of March 14th, also known as Pi Day, we turned our attention to something that surrounds us but that we seldom think about: math!
Because really, we're all constantly calculating. Whether you're struggling with your taxes, figuring out what to tip, or building a deck: adding a little math to your day can change everything.
On this week's show:
Statistician extraordinaire Jeffrey Rosenthal's Pi Day greeting.
When it comes to numbers, Jeffrey Rosenthal knows his stuff. He got his PhD in math from Harvard when he was 24, and by the time he was 29 he was a professor of statistics at the University of Toronto. He is often brought in to crunch numbers on a wide range of subjects - from lottery fraud scandals to murder cases to TV game shows...
One of the main complaints you hear from teens about math is 'when will I ever use this in real life?'. It's something Joy Pagtakhan has heard a lot in her job as a High School math teacher... So Joy decided to engage her students with a practical project - but she didn't anticipate how far it would go!
Anna Stokke is a math professor at the University of Winnipeg who was stunned to learn, via her Grade 3 daughter, that math isn't taught the way it used to be taught. That realization led to huge changes in her family's life, along with big changes to math curricula in Western Canada.
Chad Saunders discovered that math really matters... while bungee jumping. His story first aired on the podcast The One Dollar Story Contest produced by Joe Burima.
Have you ever gone to a foreign country and flubbed a currency conversion? Mary Agnes Welch did. She'll tell us what she reeeeally paid for a pair of fingerless gloves in Norway.
As a kid, filmmaker Hart Snider had a hard time in school, particularly in math class. But he didn't want to disappoint his parents who had been very supportive. So when Hart realized he wasn't going to be able to graduate high school with his classmates, he got creative. He'll tell us what it took for him to finally conquer math.
Grant Lawrence was so bad at math in high school that he became known as 'Dumb Grant', while another fellow named Grant who was brilliant at math earned the moniker 'Smart Grant'. Find out what happened when 'Dumb Grant' and 'Smart Grant' finally crossed paths at a high school party.
This week's playlist:
Chris Walla - Geometry & C
Les Jupes - Mathematics
Kate Bush - Pi
Feist - 1234
Cake - Subtract One Love (Multiply the Heartaches)
RELIC - One Plus One
Caribou - All I Ever Need
Tom Lehrer - New Math
Kathryn Calder - Take A Little Time
Great Lake Swimmers - What Was Going Through My Head
Diamond Rings - Day & Night
And Creative Commons music from:
Broke For Free - Night Owl
Chris Zabriskie - The Theatrical Poster for Poltergiest III
EAT! - Touch a Clown in the Frightness