How do numbers shape our lives? J.L.Bulcao/iStock hide caption

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J.L.Bulcao/iStock

How do numbers shape our lives?

J.L.Bulcao/iStock

# Solve For X

Math intimidates a lot of us, but it can deliver surprising answers to life's pressing questions. In this episode, TED speakers discuss the elegant simplicity, and giddy complexity, of solving for X.

"To me what's exciting is the answers that math can get you to." - Randall Munroe James Duncan Davidson/TED hide caption

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James Duncan Davidson/TED

## Can Math Answer Absurd Questions?

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• Transcript

"A mathematical proof appears as a thing of beauty. It speaks of a higher truth. It speaks of a harmony to knowledge." - Terry Moore James Duncan Davidson/TED hide caption

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James Duncan Davidson/TED

## Why Do We Solve For 'X'?

• `<iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/388518850/390980345" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">`
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"Numbers are beautiful." - Clayton Cameron Ryan Lash/TED hide caption

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Ryan Lash/TED

## What Are The Mathematics of Jazz?

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Untitled Clayton Cameron

"Decisions are made automatically by machines, increasingly without human supervision." - Kevin Slavin James Duncan Davidson/TED hide caption

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James Duncan Davidson/TED

## Should We Be Wary of Algorithms?

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Writer Randall Munroe answers bizarre questions with math, like what would happen if a baseball pitcher threw a ball at 90 percent the speed of light? James Duncan Davidson/Courtesy of TED hide caption

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James Duncan Davidson/Courtesy of TED

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Untitled Clayton Cameron

"Three is like a magic number." - Clayton Cameron Ryan Lash/Courtesy of TED hide caption

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Ryan Lash/Courtesy of TED

## Why Is 3 A Magic Number?

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"I struggle to find anything in the world that you can't that you can't get an interesting perspective on by using maths." - Hannah Fry Courtesy of TED hide caption

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Courtesy of TED

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Percussionist Clayton Cameron says learning the language of numbers improved his music. Ryan Lash/Courtesy of TED hide caption

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Ryan Lash/Courtesy of TED

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