What can mathematics say about history? According to TED Fellow Jean-Baptiste Michel, quite a lot. From changes to language to the deadliness of wars, he shows how digitized history is just starting to reveal deep underlying patterns.

Finding the right mate is no cakewalk -- but is it even mathematically likely? In a charming talk, mathematician Hannah Fry shows patterns in how we look for love, and gives her top three tips (verified by math!) for finding that special someone.

By analyzing raw data on violent incidents in the Iraq war and others, Sean Gourley and his team claim to have found a surprisingly strong mathematical relationship linking the fatality and frequency of attacks.

Most people think of pure mathematics as a medium for ivory-tower abstraction, divorced from real-world applications. Mathematician Eugenia Cheng disagrees. In this talk, she demonstrates how numbers and mathematical structures can be used to shift perspectives, switch contexts and help us understand our fellow human beings in new and logical wa...

Consider the following sentence: "This statement is false." Is that true? If so, that would make the statement false. But if it's false, then the statement is true. This sentence creates an unsolvable paradox; if it's not true and it's not false– what is it? This question led a logician to a discovery that would change mathematics forever. Marcu...

One bag of apples, one apple, one slice of apple-- which of these is one unit? Explore the basic unit of math (explained by a trip to the grocery store!) and discover the many meanings of one. [Directed by Biljana Labovic, narrated by Christopher Danielson].

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!)

How much land mass would renewables need to power a nation like the UK? An entire country's worth. In this pragmatic talk, David MacKay tours the basic mathematics that show worrying limitations on our sustainable energy options ... and explains why we should pursue them anyway.

Would mathematics exist if people didn't? Did we create mathematical concepts to help us understand the world around us, or is math the native language of the universe itself? Jeff Dekofsky traces some famous arguments in this ancient and hotly debated question. [Directed by The Tremendousness Collective, narrated by Addison Anderson].

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.

When Nicolas Bourbaki applied to the American Mathematical Society in the 1950s, he was already one of the most influential mathematicians of his time. He'd published articles in international journals and his textbooks were required reading. Yet his application was firmly rejected for one simple reason: Nicolas Bourbaki did not exist. How is th...

Mathematics is not about following rules, it's about playing—and exploring, fighting, looking for clues, and sometimes even breaking things, according to Dan Finkel. In this playful, inspiring talk, the founder of Math for Love offers teachers and parents alike a five-step guide to sharing the beauty and playfulness of mathematical thinking with...

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...

In this engaging talk, high school math teacher and YouTube star Eddie Woo shares his passion for mathematics, calling it an extra sense that we can all access. Using real-world examples of geometry, he encourages everyone to seek out the patterns around them for "a whole new way to see the world."

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...

As Numberland's best detective, you thought you'd seen it all. But the desiccated corpses of prominent natural numbers have been showing up all over the city. A lockdown is ordered from sundown to sunrise, and it's still not enough to stop what can only be described as a vampiric feeding frenzy. Can you figure out why the citizens of Numberland ...

Imagine a world in which every ad you saw was relevant -- where advertising wasn't random or intrusive, but rather a carefully thought out combination of products you already wanted to know about. In this talk, advertising researcher Kristi Rogers describes how involving advanced mathematics in marketing will ultimately transform the way we inte...

How do we make sense of a world that doesn't? By looking in unexpected places, says mathematician Eugenia Cheng. She explains how applying concepts from abstract mathematics to daily life can lead us to a deeper understanding of things like the root of anger and the function of privilege. Learn more about how this surprising tool can help us to ...

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. "...

In the city of Alexandria in 415 CE, the bishop and the governor were in a fight. It started with a disagreement over the behavior of a militia of monks, and ended with an accusation of witchcraft leveled against one of the most powerful figures in the city: Hypatia, philosopher and advisor to the city's leaders. Who was Hypatia and why was she ...

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...

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.

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].

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.

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.

Jim Simons was a mathematician and cryptographer who realized: the complex math he used to break codes could help explain patterns in the world of finance. Billions later, he's working to support the next generation of math teachers and scholars. TED's Chris Anderson sits down with Simons to talk about his extraordinary life in numbers.

The world turns on symmetry -- from the spin of subatomic particles to the dizzying beauty of an arabesque. But there's more to it than meets the eye. Here, Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy offers a glimpse of the invisible numbers that marry all symmetrical objects.

Physicist and surfer Garrett Lisi presents a controversial new model of the universe that -- just maybe -- answers all the big questions. If nothing else, it's the most beautiful 8-dimensional model of elementary particles and forces you've ever seen.