Episode #315

Math, Kurt Weill, Danica McKellar

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Saturday, April 13, 2002

We investigate the mysteries of math and art. Host Kurt Andersen and actor and mathematician Danica McKellar look at the creative possibilities in numbers and formulas, even for those who didn't pass algebra. Composer Eve Beglarian talks about linking her right brain to her left. Economist David Galenson measures artistic genius using biographical formulas. And from Pi to A Beautiful Mind, we look at math in the movies.

Guests:

Danica McKellar

Commentary: The Rumor Mill

Kurt reflects on some rumors — about puppets.

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Now Playing: Kurt Weill

Two years after the centenary of German composer Kurt Weill, tributes are continuing, including a large exhibition and performance series now at the New York Public Library. Weill's music will always bear the imprint of one spectacular performer, his wife and muse Lotte Lenya.

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Danica McKellar on Art and Math

Kurt Andersen and Danica McKellar look at math’s attraction for artists — its precision, complexity and purity. McKellar is an actor and writer, and graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a degree in mathematics. She's best known for her role as Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years, and she recently ...

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Eve Beglarian: The Composer's Brain

Contemporary composer Eve Beglarian obsesses over numbers, and plays her right brain against her left. 

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Measuring Genius

David Galenson is an economist who studies labor markets. These days, he's aiming his quantitative skills at one question: why do some artists produce their best work when they're young and others when they're old?  

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Math and the Movies

When people in Hollywood talk about movie math, they generally mean the elaborate and often fraudulent accounting. It's what turns a $100 million dollar box office take into a loss. But there's a lot of math in the movies, well beyond A Beautiful Mind

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Street Math

Every Wednesday at noon in Times Square, New York City, educator George Nobl sets up a table. He lays out different math problems that need to be tackled and a row of Snickers bars for anybody who gets them right. 

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