Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagPierre de Fermat

several-cards-stockpack-adobe-stock
Several cards

The Holy Rollers: Christians Who Gamble for God

Not only have many successful players been Christians, probability theory was developed in part by a philosopher who became a devout Christian

This last instalment of the writeup of the podcasts with mathematician, computer scientist, engineer — and part-time gambler — Salvador Cordova looks at why and how Christians like himself gamble without cheating. Cordova was one of the crowdfunders of a film on the topic called Holy Rollers (2011). The host is fellow engineer and Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks in “Card Counting Strategies and Dangers” (podcast, June 23, 2022): https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/06/Mind-Matters-News-Episode-192-Sal-Cordova-Episode-4-rev1.mp3 This portion begins at 15:47 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow. Robert J. Marks: First of all, tell us what the movie was about, and then your involvement. Sal Cordova: It’s about one of the most successful card counting teams, blackjack teams.…

surprised-nerd-student-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Surprised nerd student

Fermat’s Last Tango: Lively Musical For Nerds

The ghost of Fermat and other giants from the Aftermath Club help (frustrate?) a mathematician’s effort to prove Fermat’s famous Last Theorem

If you are a nerd, the musical Fermat’s Last Tango (2001) is hilarious. Mathematician Pierre de Fermat proposed his last theorem around 1637. He wrote a note in the margin of a copy of Arithmetica, a book written by a 3rd-century Alexandrian mathematician, Diophantus. Fermat’s short scribble claimed that he could prove that a specific Diophantine equation had no solution. But whatever Fermat was thinking died with him in 1665. A proof of Fermat’s last theorem eluded mathematicians over 300 years until Princeton’s Andrew Wiles proved it in 1995. Fermat’s Last Tango is a fantasy account of Wiles’s life while he was working on the proof. The play is a musical sprinkled with nerdy inside jokes. For example, part of…

spiral-background-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Spiral Background.

Hard Math Can Be Entertaining — With the Right Musical Score!

Gregory Chaitin discusses with Robert J. Marks the fun side of solving hard math problems, some of which come with million-dollar prizes

In last week’s podcast,, “The Chaitin Interview II: Defining Randomness,” Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed mathematician and computer scientist Gregory Chaitin on his method of describing true randomness:. If no theory is simpler than the data you are trying to explain, then the data is random. They also discussed the work of true randomness but also on how Ray Solomonoff (1926–2009), another algorithmic information theory founder, who pursued the “shortest effective string of information that describes an object.” But now, for a lighter touch, we learn that a musical comedy was made of Fermat’s Last Theorem. https://episodes.castos.com/mindmatters/Mind-Matters-125-Gregory-Chaitin.mp3 This portion begins at 19:24 min. A partial transcript, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow. Robert J. Marks: If you…