The Joy of Mathematics

Watch The Joy of Mathematics

  • 2007
  • 1 Season

The Joy of Mathematics is an enlightening and entertaining course taught by Arthur T. Benjamin. Presented as a part of The Great Courses Signature Collection, this series of twenty-four lectures provides a comprehensive overview of the beauty and wonder of mathematics.

Arthur T. Benjamin is a renowned mathematician and magician whose unique combination of knowledge and showmanship makes him an exceptional guide into the depths of the world of mathematics. He combines his passion for mathematics with his incredible ability to engage his audience and deliver complex topics in a clear and concise manner.

Throughout the series, Benjamin covers a wide range of topics, including basic mathematical operations, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, and more. He masterfully weaves historical and cultural contexts throughout his lectures, making the series not only informative but also incredibly interesting.

For example, in one lecture titled "The Art of Mental Calculation," Benjamin teaches the audience how to perform impressive calculations quickly and accurately using simple techniques. In another lecture titled "Geometry: Ancient Art and Modern Science," he explores the discovery of geometry and the ways in which it has been used throughout history and across cultures.

Each lecture is punctuated with real-life examples and problems that challenge viewers to apply their newfound knowledge to real-world situations. Through this practical approach, Benjamin successfully breaks down even the most complex mathematical concepts into understandable and engaging material.

One of the highlights of the series is Benjamin's signature mathematical magic tricks. These tricks not only demonstrate the practical applications of mathematical concepts but also serve as fun and exciting interludes that keep viewers engaged throughout the lectures.

The Joy of Mathematics is aimed at people of all ages, from high-school students to lifelong learners. Each lecture lasts around 30 minutes and builds upon the previous one, creating a cohesive and comprehensive curriculum that provides a solid foundation in mathematics.

Overall, The Joy of Mathematics is an exceptional course that makes mathematics not only accessible but also enjoyable. With Arthur T. Benjamin's dynamic teaching style and engaging content, viewers will discover the beauty and wonder of mathematics in a new and exciting way.

The Joy of Mathematics is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (23 episodes). The series first aired on April 11, 2007.

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The Joy of Mathematical Magic
24. The Joy of Mathematical Magic
January 1, 1970
Closing the course with a magician's flair, Professor Benjamin shows a trick for producing anyone's phone number, how to create a magic square based on your birthday, how to play "mathematical survivor," a technique for computing cube roots in your head, and a card trick to ponder.
The Joy of Mathematical Games
23. The Joy of Mathematical Games
April 11, 2007
This lecture applies the law of total probability and other concepts from the course to predict the long-term losses to be expected from playing games such as roulette and craps and understand what is known as the "Gambler's Ruin Problem."
The Joy of Probability
22. The Joy of Probability
April 11, 2007
Mathematics can draw detailed inferences about random events. This lecture covers major concepts in probability, such as the law of large numbers, the central limit theorem, and how to measure variance.
The Joy of Pascal's Triangle
21. The Joy of Pascal's Triangle
April 11, 2007
A geometric arrangement of binomial coefficients called Pascal's triangle is a treasure trove of beautiful number patterns. It even provides an answer to the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas": Exactly how many gifts did my true love give to me?
The Joy of Integral Calculus
20. The Joy of Integral Calculus
January 1, 1970
Geometry and trigonometry are used to determine the areas of simple figures such as triangles and circles. But how are more complex shapes measured? Calculus comes to the rescue with a technique called integration, which adds the simple areas of many tiny quantities.
The Joy of Approximating with Calculus
19. The Joy of Approximating with Calculus
April 11, 2007
Exploiting the idea of the derivative, we can approximate just about any function using simple polynomials. This lecture also shows why a formula sometimes known as "God's equation" (involving e, i, p, 1, and 0) is true, and how to calculate square roots in your head.
The Joy of Differential Calculus
18. The Joy of Differential Calculus
April 11, 2007
Calculus is the mathematics of change, and answers questions such as: How fast is a function growing? This lecture introduces the concepts of limits and derivatives, which allow the slope of a curve to be measured at any point.
The Joy of Infinite Series
17. The Joy of Infinite Series
January 1, 1970
Starting with the analysis of the proposition 0.999999999 ... = 1, this lecture ex­plores what it means to add up an infinite series of numbers. Some infinite series con­verge on a definite value, while others grow arbitrarily large.
The Joy of Infinity
16. The Joy of Infinity
April 11, 2007
What is the meaning of infinity? Are some infinite sets "more" infinite than others? Could there possibly be an infinite number of levels of infinity? This lecture explores some of the strange ideas associated with mathematical infinity.
The Joy of the Number e
15. The Joy of the Number e
January 1, 1970
Another indispensable number to learn is e = 2.71828 ... Defined as the base of the natural logarithm, e plays a central role in calculus, and it arises naturally in many spheres of mathematics, including calculations of compound interest.
The Joy of the Imaginary Number i
14. The Joy of the Imaginary Number i
April 11, 2007
Could the apparently nonsensical number the square root of - 1 be of any use? Very much so, as this lecture shows. Such imaginary and complex numbers play an indispensable role in physics and other fields, and are easier to understand than they appear.
The Joy of Trigonometry
13. The Joy of Trigonometry
January 1, 1970
Trigonometry deals with the sides and angles of triangles. This lecture defines sine, cosine, and tangent, along with their reciprocals, the cosecant, secant, and cotangent. Extending these definitions to the unit circle allows a handy measure of angle: the radian.
The Joy of Pi
12. The Joy of Pi
January 1, 1970
Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It starts 3.14 and continues in an infinite nonrepeating sequence. Professor Benjamin shows how to learn the first hundred digits of this celebrated number, making it look as easy as pie.
The Joy of Geometry
11. The Joy of Geometry
April 11, 2007
Geometry is based on a handful of definitions and axioms involving points, lines, and angles. These lead to important conclusions about the properties of polygons. This lecture uses geometric reasoning to derive the Pythagorean theorem and other interesting results.
The Joy of 9
9. The Joy of 9
April 11, 2007
Adding the digits of a multiple of 9 always gives a multiple of 9. For example: 9 x 4 = 36, and 3 + 6 = 9. In modular arithmetic, this property allows checking answers by "casting out nines." A related trick: mentally computing the day of the week for any date in history.
The Joy of Algebra Made Visual
8. The Joy of Algebra Made Visual
April 11, 2007
Algebra can be used to solve geometrical problems, such as finding where two lines cross. The technique is useful in real-life problems, for example, in choosing a telephone plan. Graphs help us better understand everything from lines to equations with negative or fractional exponents.
The Joy of Higher Algebra
7. The Joy of Higher Algebra
January 1, 1970
This lecture shows how to solve quadratic (second-degree) equations from the technique of completing the square and the quadratic formula. The quadratic formula reveals the connection between Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio.
The Joy of Algebra
6. The Joy of Algebra
April 11, 2007
Arguably the most important area of mathematics, algebra introduces the powerful idea of using an abstract variable to represent an unknown quantity. This lecture demonstrates algebra's golden rule: Do unto one side of an equation as you do unto the other.
The Joy of Fibonacci Numbers
5. The Joy of Fibonacci Numbers
January 1, 1970
The Fibonacci numbers follow the simple pattern 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc., in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers. Fibonacci numbers have many beautiful and unexpected properties, and show up in nature, art, and poetry.
The Joy of Counting
4. The Joy of Counting
April 11, 2007
Combinatorics is the study of counting questions such as: How many outfits are possible if you own 8 shirts, 5 pairs of pants, and 10 ties? A trickier question: How many ways are there to arrange 10 books on a shelf? Combinatorics can also be used to analyze numbering systems, such as ZIP Codes or license plates, as well as games of chance.
The Joy of Primes
3. The Joy of Primes
April 11, 2007
A number is prime if it is evenly divisible by only itself and one: for example, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11. Professor Benjamin proves that there are an infinite number of primes and shows how they are the building blocks of our number system.
The Joy of Numbers
2. The Joy of Numbers
April 11, 2007
How do you add all the numbers from 1 to 100 - instantly? What makes a square number square and a triangular number triangular? Why do the rules of arithmetic really work, and how do you calculate in bases other than 10?
The Joy of Math - The Big Picture
1. The Joy of Math - The Big Picture
April 11, 2007
Professor Benjamin introduces the ABCs of math appreciation: The field can be loved for its applications, its beauty and structure, and its certainty. Most of all, mathematics is a source of endless delight through creative play with numbers.#Science & Mathematics
Where to Watch The Joy of Mathematics
The Joy of Mathematics is available for streaming on the The Great Courses Signature Collection website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Joy of Mathematics on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Kanopy and Hoopla.
  • Premiere Date
    April 11, 2007