Episode link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001jc68 My rating: B-
I learnt hardly anything new in this episode. The book - the man who loved only numbers - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Man-Who-Loved-Only-Numbers/dp/1857028295 is a much much better guide to the man. Having read that book I was excited about this episode, and was saving it up. I can recommend the episode if you don’t know anything about him.
I did learn a little about Ramsey theory - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theorem_on_friends_and_strangers, what is remarkable about this simple question is that it becomes unbounded after adding only a few additional people to the party.
I was disappointed that they didn’t cover:
- his use of barbiturates
- His phrase “another roof, another proof”
They did mention his concept or “the book”, where there is the best version of any given proof. Springer have a wonderful title - proofs from the book - https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978–3–662–57265–8.
Overall though, a moderate disappointment.
If you want to dig into in our time episodes more there is a fantastic site that allows you to explore the archive in all sorts of ways: https://genmon.github.io/braggoscope/.
Classifications from OpenAI:
- paul erdos
- the man who loved only numbers
- ramsey theory
- theorem on friends and strangers
- “another roof, another proof”
- the book (concept)
- proofs from the book