Dr. Keith Devlin, Mathematics Communicator and Author

Dr. Keith Devlin is a mathematician who’s also known as The Math Guy on NPR’s Weekend Edition. He has written several books explaining math to the masses. And he’s also the co-founder and Executive Director of Stanford University’s Human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute (H-Star).

We spoke with Dr. Devlin about why math is difficult to understand and explain, how we tend to know more about mathematicians’ lives than their work, and whether programs like Khan Academy help or hurt students.


My favorite books by Dr. Devlin are The Millennium Problems: The Seven Greatest Unsolved Mathematical Puzzles Of Our Time and The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution.

Here’s a link to information about Fermat’s Last Theorem (and an excellent BBC documentary about the problem).

This New York Times article about math genius Terry Tao was also discussed in the episode. You can find his blog here.

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