The Maths of Star Trek: The Original Series (with James Grime)

Wednesday 15th May, 2013

To celebrate the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, serial guest James Grime has taken on the arduous task of re-watching the original series to study the mathematics featured on the screen. He joins us for a podcast-only special to tell us all about it, with audio clips of the relevant episodes. We'll talk about cicadas, morphogenesis (or “waves on cows”), deceiving androids from first principles, and the biggest question of them all: does the redshirt always die?

If you want to check James’ working, he's published a series of posts over at The Aperiodical on the same themes: part I, part II, part III.

Please enjoy this photograph of Gödel, which we mention towards the end of the show. Please also enjoy further information on the remarkable Valais goat. The short skirt uniform worn by both men and women in early episodes of The Next Generation is called a skant, and it was occasionally worn with trousers.

JIM: Science and medics, those are the blue shirts.
HOST: Where do mathematicians go? Scientists?
JIM: That’s right, yes, science.
HOST: You’re safe?
JIM: Yes, I am, I’m in the blue shirt category.
as quoted by Peter Rowlett in What colour shirt do mathematicians wear?


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