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Matt Parker: Humble Pi
15 Sep 2020
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Matt Parker is a stand-up comedian and mathematician. He appears regularly on TV and online: as well as being a presenter on the Discovery Channel his YouTube videos have been viewed over 85 million times.
Humble Pi explores the greatest mathematical near-misses and mishaps involving planes, bridges, the internet, big data and more. Matt Parker shows us the bizarre ways maths trips us all up. Being wrong has never felt so right.
– In 1983 a Canadian flight crew used pounds instead of kilograms and a plane took off with about half the fuel it needed, running out mid-flight.
– In 2012 someone at JPMorgan Chase accidentally added two cells in a spreadsheet instead of taking their average and lost the company $2 billion USD.
– The The European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group estimates that 24% of all spreadsheets used in business contain a maths error.
– 19.6% of genetic research crunched in Excel contains errors where a gene name has been accidentally auto-corrected into a date.
In 2018 Matt calculated the number pi live on-stage in front of a sold-out Royal Albert Hall using a real pie. He is also the first person to use an overhead projector at the Hammersmith Apollo since Pink Floyd.
‘Hilarious … very, very great at explaining some pretty awesome things.’ Michael Stevens, Vsauce
‘Magician-like skills with tables of numbers’ The List
‘Visibly so genuinely excited about maths that it’s infectious. Likewise, his comedy is unmistakable’ Broadway Baby
‘Even the terminally maths-phobic (a class I belong to) will enjoy mathematician Matt Parker’s enthused, beaming delivery, as he makes maths challenges and diagrams into something oddly beautiful.’ Three Weeks
Running time: 1hr 50mins (inc 20mins interval)
Age recommendation: 12+ only
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