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Exploring mathematics: a powerful tool: Track 1

Featuring: Video Video Audio Audio

How can mathematics help us to understand the world around us? The tracks on this album take us to Antarctica, Hong Kong and New Zealand to find out how mathematicians work with scientists and biologists to create mathematical models, and how collaborations like these can help decipher and predict a range of natural phenomena. We learn how the 17th Century saw the birth of one of the most important mathematical tools - calculus, and modern mathematicians examine the contribution of its three inventors - Fermat, Newton and Leibniz. This material forms part of The Open University course MS221 Exploring mathematics.

By: The iTunes U team (The Open University,)

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Track 1: Mathematics: a powerful tool

An introduction to the tracks on this album.

© The Open University 2009

Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Mathematics: a powerful tool    An introduction to the tracks on this album. Play now Mathematics: a powerful tool
2 Mathematical modelling for real    An introduction to mathematical modelling in the real world. Play now Mathematical modelling for real
3 An ancient tradition    How bamboo scaffolding does its job. Play now An ancient tradition
4 How maths helps dolphins    Using statistical modelling to calculate endangered species’ survival rates. Play now How maths helps dolphins
5 Predicting climate change    Why elaborate mathematical modelling is needed to predict ice break-up in Antarctica. Play now Predicting climate change
6 A vibrating lake    Using mathematical modeling to understand the fluctuations in the surface levels of Lake Wakatipu. Play now A vibrating lake
7 Why is maths useful?    How the behaviour of the world around us can be understood better through mathematics. Play now Why is maths useful?
8 Who invented Calculus?    The birth of calculus resulted in controversy: who got there first? Play now Who invented Calculus?
9 Fermat’s ideas    An explanation of some of Fermat’s discoveries. Play now Fermat’s ideas
10 Fermat and John Wallis    How Fermat communicated his findings to Wallis. Play now Fermat and John Wallis
11 Isaac Newton’s input    Newton invents the binomial theorem and publishes his great work Principia Mathematica. Play now Isaac Newton’s input
12 New insights emerge    Leibniz and the physicist Huygens work together. Play now New insights emerge
13 The Newton-Leibniz dispute    How the birth of calculus was a truly international effort. Play now The Newton-Leibniz dispute