"Life By The Numbers" airs April 8

John R Chang (JRChang+@cmu.edu)
Fri, 3 Apr 1998 16:56:11 -0500 (EST)

WQED Pittsburgh is producing a seven-part PBS series on mathematics called
"Life By The Numbers." I'm helping them with computer stuff, so I've seen
parts of it. It's great! It's definitely "mathematics like you've never
seen it before."

The first program airs on PBS on Wednesday (April 8) at 8:00 PM EST. (I
think WTIU airs the next one on Sunday, April 12, but check the local
listings to make sure.)

Watch this show and tell your friends, math teachers, etc. about it!
The web site is http://www.mathlife.wqed.org/

John Chang
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
JRChang+@CMU.EDU | http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/jrc/

                            LIFE BY THE NUMBERS
     Mathematics creative, mysterious and magical is everywhere, an
     invisible part of life thats being used to shape the future. LIFE
     BY THE NUMBERS, hosted by Danny Glover, presents a new image for
     mathematics one thats exciting, empowering and imaginative. The
     seven-part series, airing on PBS beginning Wednesday, April 8,
     1998, 8:00 p.m. ET (check local listings), reveals the crucial
     role mathematics plays in sports, work, education, exploration,
     chance, virtual reality and life in general. The remaining episodes
     air in April and May 1998.
     "You might not realize it, but mathematics can unlock incredible
     power," Glover explains in the series. "You can use it to make your
     dreams become reality. Mathematics is a powerful tool for exploring
     life on earth and discovering our place in the universe."
     The series covers topics ranging from the way statistics help make
     predictions to the role mathematics plays in creating special
     effects to explaining why an ape could never grow to be the size of
     King Kong.
     * "Seeing Is Believing" (4/8) The special effects in movies are
       mathematics in action. The first special effects ever created
       Renaissance paintings also owe their existence to mathematics.
       From IMAX films to modern art and virtual reality, mathematics
       helps define space and present visions to the world.
     * "The Numbers Game" Sports and mathematics have long been tied
       together batting averages, golf handicaps, odds at the racetrack,
       even the geometry of the baseball diamond. In the push to run
       faster, jump farther and reach the limits of the human body,
       mathematics is critical to success in sports from basketball to
       sky surfing.
     * "Patterns of Nature" Why do zebras have stripes instead of spots?
       Can grasshoppers grow to the size of dinosaurs? How are simple
       ropes and strings like those found in any garage helping
       scientists understand viruses? Mathematics is a brand new tool for
       biologists and by using mathematics, scientists are uncovering
       amazing things.
     * "Chances of a Lifetime" Most people use mathematics to make sense
       of life by relying on probability to gauge chance and risk.
       Statistics can help people make predictions about everything from
       the weather to the roulette wheel.
     * "Shape of the World" Hundreds of years before Columbus set sail,
       the Greeks used mathematics to determine the size and shape of the
       planet. Viewers see how mathematics has become a tool to explore
       the earth and the heavens as the world and the cosmos is charted.
     * "A New Age" Contrary to popular belief, mathematics is a bigger
       part of everyday life than most people realize. In fact, as the
       21st century draws closer, the "information age" is being driven
       by mathematics.
     * "Making a Difference" Around the country, dynamic educators,
       innovative researchers and passionate parents are exploring new
       ways to make math make sense. Today, exciting reform initiatives
       are placing mathematics in a "real world" context while
       encouraging students to approach problems using familiar tools
       such as calculators, computers and daily journals.
     A companion book, written by Keith Devlin and published by John
     Wylie & Sons, Inc., will be available in April 1998. Devlins other
     works include Goodbye, Descartes and Mathematics: The New Golden
     LIFE BY THE NUMBERS is an example of PBS commitment to presenting
     programs that entertain as well as educate.
     Day & time: check with your local station
     Underwriters: Texas Instruments, National Science Foundation,
     Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, McDonnell Douglas Foundation and Alcoa
     Foundation. Producer: WQED Pittsburgh. Executive producer: Greg
     Andorfer. Series producer: David Elisco. Project director: James C.
     Rogal. Producers: Gina Catanzarite, David Elisco, Mary Rawson and
     Joe Seamans. Post-production coordinator: Mary Guering. Executive
     in charge of production: Carolyn Wean. Format: CC STEREO