Ever wanted to know how music affects your brain, what quantum mechanics really is, or how black holes work? Do you wonder why you get emotional each time you see a certain movie, or how on earth video games are designed? Then you’ve come to the right place. Each week, Sean Carroll will host conversations with some of the most interesting thinkers in the world. From neuroscientists and engineers to authors and television producers, Sean and his guests talk about the biggest ideas in science, philosophy, culture and much more.
Mathematics is often thought of as the pinnacle of crisp precision: the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle isn’t “roughly” the sum of the squares of the other two sides, it’s exactly that. But we live in a world of messy imprecision, and increasingly we need sophisticated techniques to quantify and deal with approximate statistical relations rather than perfect ones. Modern mathematicians have noticed, and are taking up the challenge. Tai-Danae Bradley is a mathematician who employs very high-level ideas — category theory, topology, quantum probability theory — to analyze real-world phenomena like the structure of natural-language speech. We explore a number of cool ideas and what kinds of places they are leading us to.
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Tai-Danae Bradley received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the CUNY Graduate Center. She is currently a research mathematician at Alphabet, visiting research professor of mathematics at The Master’s University, and executive director of the Math3ma Institute. She hosts an explanatory mathematics blog, Math3ma. She is the co-author of the graduate-level textbook Topology: A Categorical Approach.