The Story of Maths is a four-part British television series outlining aspects of the history of mathematics. It was a co-production between the Open University and the BBC and aired in October 2008 on BBC Four. The material was written and presented by University of Oxford professor Marcus du Sautoy. The consultants were the Open University academics Robin Wilson, professor Jeremy Gray and June Barrow-Green. Kim Duke is credited as series producer.
The series comprised four programmes respectively titled: The Language of the Universe; The Genius of the East; The Frontiers of Space; and To Infinity and Beyond. Du Sautoy documents the development of mathematics covering subjects such as the invention of zero and the unproven Riemann hypothesis, a 150 year old problem for whose solution the Clay Mathematics Institute has offered a $1,000,000 prize. He escorts viewers through the subject’s history and geography. He examines the development of key mathematical ideas and shows how mathematical ideas underpin the world’s science, technology, and culture.
He starts his journey in ancient Egypt and finishes it by looking at current mathematics. Between he travels through Babylon, Greece, India, China, and the medieval Middle East. He also looks at mathematics in Europe and then in America and takes the viewers inside the lives of many of the greatest mathematicians.
Part 1 – The Language of the Universe
Part 2 – The Genius of the East
Part 3 – The Frontiers of Space
Part 4 – To Infinity and Beyond