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