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Breaking Math Podcast

Breaking Math Podcast

74: Lights, Camera, Action! (3D Computer Graphics: Part I)

Sun, 19 Jun 2022
The world around us is a four-dimensional world; there are three spatial dimensions, and one temporal dimension. Many of these objects emit an almost unfathomable number of photons. As we developed as creatures on this planet, we gathered the ability to sense the world around us; and given the amount of information represented as photons, it is no surprise that we developed an organ for sensing photons. But because of the amount of photons that are involved, and our relatively limited computational resources, it is necessary to develop shortcuts if we want to simulate an environment in silico. So what is raytracing? How is that different from what happens in games? And what does Ptolemy have to do with 3D graphics? All of this and more on this episode of Breaking Math.

Theme was Breaking Math Theme and outro was Breaking Math Outro by Elliot Smith of Albuquerque.

This episode is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. License information can be found here:

[Featuring: Sofía Baca, Gabriel Hesch]

73: Materialism: a Material Science Podcast Podcast Episode (Interview with Taylor Sparks)

Sat, 28 May 2022
Physical objects are everywhere, and they're all made out of molecules, and atoms. However, the arrangement and refinement of these atoms can be the difference between a computer and sand, or between a tree and paper. For a species as reliant on tool use, the ability to conceieve of, design, create, and produce these materials is an ongoing concern. Since we've been around as humans, and even before, we have been material scientists in some regard, searching for new materials to make things out of, including the tools we use to make things. So what is the difference between iron and steel? How do we think up new things to make things out of? And what are time crystals? All of this and more on this episode of Breaking Math.

This episode is released under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license. More information here:

[Featuring: Sofía Baca, Gabriel Hesch; Taylor Sparks]

72: The Lifestyles of the Mathematical and Famous (an Interview with Author Robert Black)

Sun, 15 May 2022
Robert Black is an author who has written a six-book series about seven influential mathematicians, their lives, and their work. We interview him and his books, and take a peek into the lives of these influential mathematicians.

Addendum: Hey Breaking Math fans, I just wanted to let y'all know that the second material science podcast is delayed.

[Featuring: Sofía Baca; Robert Black]

71: What's the Matter? An Interview with Chris Cogswell of the Mad Scientist Podcast (Material Science)

Tue, 12 Apr 2022
Matter is that which takes up space, and has mass. It is what we interact with, and what we are. Imagining a world without matter is to imagine light particles drifting aimlessly in space. Gasses, liquids, solids, and plasmas are all states of matter. Material science studies all of these, and their combinations and intricacies, found in examining foams, gels, meshes, and other materials and metamaterials. Chris Cogswell is a material scientist, and host of The Mad Scientist Podcast, a podcast that takes a critical look at things ranging from technological fads, to pseudoscience, and topics that deserve a critical eye. On the first of a pair of two episodes about material science, we interview Chris about his experience with studying material science, and ask questions about the subject in general.
Links referenced by Chris Cogswell:
- is about nanomagnetism and cool demonstration of ferrofluid
- goes over nanomagnetic applications in medicine
- Great review paper on new class of materials known as MOFs which are going to be very important in coming years
- Crash course engineering on nanomaterials, really good introduction to the field
- Oak Ridge national lab paper on using nano materials for carbon dioxide conversion to other carbon molecules
- Really good paper on carbon capture technology challenges and economics
[Featuring: Sofía Baca, Gabriel Hesch, Meryl Flaherty; Chris Cogswell]


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70.1: Episode 70.1 of Breaking Math Podcast (Self-Reference)

Sun, 20 Mar 2022
Seldom do we think about self-reference, but it is a huge part of the world we live in. Every time that we say 'myself', for instance, we are engaging in self-reference. Long ago, the Liar Paradox and the Golden Ratio were among the first formal examples of self-reference. Freedom to refer to the self has given us fruitful results in mathematics and technology. Recursion, for example, is used in algorithms such as PageRank, which is one of the primary algorithms in Google's search engine. Elements of self-reference can also be found in foundational shifts in the way we understand mathematics, and has propelled our understanding of mathematics forward. Forming modern set theory was only possible due to a paradox called Russel's paradox, for example. Even humor uses self-reference. Realizing this, can we find harmony in self-reference? Even in a podcast intro, are there elements of self-reference? Nobody knows, but I'd check if I were you. Catch all of this, and more, on this episode of Breaking Math. Episode 70.1: Episode Seventy Point One of Breaking Math Podcast

[Featuring: Sofía Baca, Gabriel Hesch; Millicent Oriana]


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