playlist

Talks to take you back to school

Sharpen your pencils! It’s time to hit the books again, with these TED Talks that take you through a busy day of math, history, gym, lunch, English, science and art. No finals required.

  1. 17:17
    Adam Spencer Why I fell in love with monster prime numbers

    They're millions of digits long, and it takes an army of mathematicians and machines to hunt them down — what's not to love about monster primes? Adam Spencer, comedian and lifelong math geek, shares his passion for these odd numbers, and for the mysterious magic of math.

  2. 15:58
    George Takei Why I love a country that once betrayed me

    When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a "security" measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.

  3. 14:53
    David Epstein Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?

    When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them.

  4. 21:53
    Jamie Oliver Teach every child about food

    Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, West Virginia — and a shocking image of the sugar we eat — TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.

  5. 13:12
    Stephen Burt Why people need poetry

    "We're all going to die — and poems can help us live with that." In a charming and funny talk, literary critic Stephen Burt takes us on a lyrical journey with some of his favorite poets, all the way down to a line break and back up to the human urge to imagine.

  6. 6:43
    Henry Lin What we can learn from galaxies far, far away

    In a fun, exciting talk, teenager Henry Lin looks at something unexpected in the sky: distant galaxy clusters. By studying the properties of the universe's largest pieces, says the Intel Science Fair award winner, we can learn quite a lot about scientific mysteries in our own world and galaxy.

  7. 5:14
    Shih Chieh Huang Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea

    When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.