These talks are here to set the record straight and illuminate the unexpected ways formulas and fractions influence everything, from love and war to origami and coral reefs.

With humor and charm, mathematician Eduardo Sáenz de Cabezón answers a question that's wracked the brains of bored students the world over: What is math for? He shows the beauty of math as the backbone of science — and shows that theorems, not diamonds, are forever. In Spanish, with English subtitles.

Today's math curriculum is teaching students to expect -- and excel at -- paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them. Dan Meyer shows classroom-tested math exercises that prompt students to stop and think.

From rockets to stock markets, many of humanity's most thrilling creations are powered by math. So why do kids lose interest in it? Conrad Wolfram says the part of math we teach -- calculation by hand -- isn't just tedious, it's mostly irrelevant to real mathematics and the real world. He presents his radical idea: teaching kids math through com...

Hidden truths permeate our world; they're inaccessible to our senses, but math allows us to go beyond our intuition to uncover their mysteries. In this survey of mathematical breakthroughs, Fields Medal winner Cédric Villani speaks to the thrill of discovery and details the sometimes perplexing life of a mathematician. "Beautiful mathematical ex...

Margaret Wertheim leads a project to re-create the creatures of the coral reefs using a crochet technique invented by a mathematician -- celebrating the amazements of the reef, and deep-diving into the hyperbolic geometry underlying coral creation.

These women are trailblazers inspiring a new generation of girls to follow their lead and change the ratio in STEM (science, math, engineering and tech).

Basketball is a fast-moving game of improvisation, contact and, ahem, spatio-temporal pattern recognition. Rajiv Maheswaran and his colleagues are analyzing the movements behind the key plays of the game, to help coaches and players combine intuition with new data. Bonus: What they're learning could help us understand how humans move everywhere.

Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities -- that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city's population. In this mind-bending talk from TEDGlobal he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporat...

Robert Lang is a pioneer of the newest kind of origami -- using math and engineering principles to fold mind-blowingly intricate designs that are beautiful and, sometimes, very useful.

Irina Kareva translates biology into mathematics and vice versa. She writes mathematical models that describe the dynamics of cancer, with the goal of developing new drugs that target tumors. "The power and beauty of mathematical modeling lies in the fact that it makes you formalize, in a very rigorous way, what we think we know," Kareva says. "...

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.

Mohamad Jebara loves mathematics -- but he's concerned that too many students grow up thinking that this beautiful, rewarding subject is difficult and boring. His company is experimenting with a bold idea: paying students for completing weekly math homework. He explores the ethics of this model and how it's helping students -- and why learning m...

At TED2010, mathematics legend Benoit Mandelbrot develops a theme he first discussed at TED in 1984 -- the extreme complexity of roughness, and the way that fractal math can find order within patterns that seem unknowably complicated.

Math is logical, functional and just ... awesome. Mathemagician Arthur Benjamin explores hidden properties of that weird and wonderful set of numbers, the Fibonacci series. (And reminds you that mathematics can be inspiring, too!)

Beset by plunging biodiversity, pathogens and skyrocketing populations, our global food supply is at risk — but solutions that rely on chemicals and GMOs come with their own problems. Laxmi Parida proposes an organic solution instead: math.

Someone always asks the math teacher, "Am I going to use calculus in real life?" And for most of us, says Arthur Benjamin, the answer is no. He offers a bold proposal on how to make math education relevant in the digital age.

Scott Rickard set out to engineer the ugliest possible piece of music, devoid of repetition, using a mathematical concept known as the Costas Array. In this surprisingly entertaining talk, he shares the math behind musical beauty ... and its opposite.

Physics and marketing don't seem to have much in common, but Dan Cobley is passionate about both. He brings these unlikely bedfellows together using Newton's second law, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the scientific method and the second law of thermodynamics to explain the fundamental theories of branding.

The villainous Dr. Schrödinger has developed a growth ray and intends to create an army of giant cats to terrorize the city. Your team of secret agents has tracked him to his underground lab. You burst in to find ... that it's a trap! Can you escape from Dr. Schrödinger's lair and save the day? Dan Finkel shows how. [TED-Ed Animation by Artrake ...

Dutch artist Piet Mondrian's abstract, rectangular paintings inspired mathematicians to create a two-fold challenge. Can you solve the puzzle and get to the lowest score possible? Gordon Hamilton shows how. [TED-Ed Animation by Anton Trofimov]

You've found Leonardo da Vinci's secret vault, secured by a series of combination locks. Fortunately, your treasure map has three codes: 1210, 3211000, and... hmm. The last one appears to be missing. Can you figure out the last number and open the vault? Tanya Khovanova shows how. [TED-Ed Animation by Artrake Studio].

Using the fundamentals of set theory, explore the mind-bending concept of the "infinity of infinities" -- and how it led mathematicians to conclude that math itself contains unanswerable questions. [Lesson by Dennis Wildfogel, directed by Aaron Augenblick, narrated by Dennis Wildfogel].

Unlock the mysteries and inner workings of the world through one of the most imaginative art forms ever -- mathematics -- with Roger Antonsen, as he explains how a slight change in perspective can reveal patterns, numbers and formulas as the gateways to empathy and understanding.

For months Uma Adwani struggled to make a living in a new city, until she was hired to teach a subject she loathed most: math. Growing up Adwani despised the subject, but as she developed lesson plans for her class, she began to fall in love with its magic, poetry and symmetry. In this talk, Adwani shares the secret wisdom she's found hidden in ...

A hostile artificial intelligence called NIM has taken over the world's computers. You're the only person skilled enough to shut it down, and you'll only have one chance. Can you survive and shut off the artificial intelligence? Dan Finkel shows how. [TED-Ed Animation by Artrake Studio]