Statistical podcast: Random and Pseudorandom

January 14, 2011

(This article was first published on Why? » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

This morning when I downloaded the latest version of In our time, I was pleased to see that this weeks topic was “Random and Pexkcd Random cartoonudorandom.” If you’re not familiar with “In our time”, then I can I definitely recommend the series. Each week three academics and Melvyn Bragg discuss a particular topic from history, science, philosophy, or religion. This weeks guests were Prof Marcus du Sautoy, Dr Colva Roney-Dougal and Prof Timothy Gowers. The discussion is aimed at the general public, but the phrase “dumbing down” certainly doesn’t apply! For example,  the introductory statement to the Mathematics episode is

Hello, Galileo wrote, “This grand book, the universe is written in the language of mathematics”. It was said before Galileo, and has been said since, and in the last decade of the 20th century, it’s being said again, most emphatically. So how important is maths in relation to other sciences at the end of the 20th century? What insight can it give us into the origins of life and the functioning of our brains? And what does it mean to say that mathematics has become more visual?


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