Scott Rickard is passionate about mathematics, music — and educating the next generation of scientists and mathematicians.

Why you should listen

Scott Rickard is a professor at University College Dublin. His interest in both music and math led him to try and solve an interesting math problem: a musical score with no pattern. He has degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering from MIT, and MA and PhD degrees in Applied and Computational Mathematics from Princeton.

At University College Dublin, he founded the Complex & Adaptive Systems Laboratory, where biologists, geologists, mathematicians, computer scientists, social scientists and economists work on problems that matter to people. He is also the founder of ScienceWithMe!, an online community dedicated to engaging youth through science and math.

What others say

“Using the work of mathematician Évariste Galois and a concept known as Golomb Rulers, Rickard created a piece specifically for the piano that is, admittedly, very hard on the ears. If you want to forego the technical stuff just skip ahead to the 7:38 mark in the video, turn up your speakers and prepare to have your roommates or neighbors come banging on your door. Um, thanks, Scott?” — Gizmodo

Scott Rickard’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Scott Rickard


The beautiful math behind the ugliest music: Scott Rickard on

January 20, 2012

Scott Rickard set out to engineer the ugliest possible piece of music, devoid of any pattern, using a mathematical concept known as the Golomb ruler. At TEDxMIA, he shares the math behind musical beauty (and its opposite). (Recorded at TEDxMIA, September 2011, in Miami Beach, Florida. Duration: 9:46) [youtube=] Watch Scott Rickard’s talk on, […]

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