Last month, I blogged about Relatively Prime, a beautifully produced, crowdfunded free series of math podcasts. I just listened to the episode on Chinook (MP3), the program that became the world champion of checkers.
Chinook's story is a bittersweet and moving tale, a modern account of John Henry and the steam-drill, though this version is told from the point of view of the machine and its maker, Jonathan Schaeffer, a University of Alberta scientist who led the Chinook team. Schaeffer's quest begins with an obsessive drive to beat reigning checkers champ Marion Tinsley, but as the tale unfolds, Tinsley becomes more and more sympathetic, so that by the end, I was rooting for the human.
This is one of the best technical documentaries I've heard, and I heartily recommend it to you. Read the rest
Peter sez, "Samuel Hansen completed a successful Kickstarter
project and as a result has created eight high-quality audio
documentaries featuring in-depth stories about the world of
mathematics. Samuel describes them: 'While each episode
revolves around a single theme, the themes themselves vary widely
and include a checkers playing computer, new tools for your
mathematical toolbox, and things that were flat out unexpected.
The guests range widely too, from a Fields Medalist to a composer
to a stand-up mathematician.' Samuel also discusses the benefits
of telling stories about mathematics."
I'm in the middle of the game theory episode and loving it!
The Toolbox « Relatively Prime
(Thanks, Peter!) Read the rest