Mathematician Sarah Hart on Why Numbers are Music to Our Ears (People I (Mostly) Admire, Ep. 49)

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Playing notes on her piano, she demonstrates for Steve why whole numbers sound pleasing, why octaves are mathematically imperfect, and how math underlies musical composition. Sarah, a professor at the University of London and Gresham College, also talks with Steve about the gender gap in mathematics and why being interested in everything can be a problem.

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Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode:


  • Sarah Hart, professor of mathematics at the University of London and professor of geometry at Gresham College.