Night Science

Steven Strogatz on ruthless simplification

February 07, 2022 Itai Yanai & Martin Lercher Season 2 Episode 5
Steven Strogatz on ruthless simplification
Night Science
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Night Science
Steven Strogatz on ruthless simplification
Feb 07, 2022 Season 2 Episode 5
Itai Yanai & Martin Lercher

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Steven Strogatz, one of the world’s foremost applied mathematicians, is a Professor at Cornell University.  While biologists have evolution as a guiding principle, mathematicians have beauty, economy, and connectivity, as Steve tells us. He explains how he ruthlessly simplifies a problem to the point where - while it still seems impossible - it is down to its bare essentials. That’s when he attacks. We talk about how in science you must stick your neck out with bold assertions, even if you might get your head chopped off as a consequence. While we typically highlight the objective aspects of science, Steve points out how the subjective aspects of personal taste and style are just as important for choosing and solving problems . 

For more information on Night Science, visit www.night-science.org .

Show Notes

Send us a Text Message.

Steven Strogatz, one of the world’s foremost applied mathematicians, is a Professor at Cornell University.  While biologists have evolution as a guiding principle, mathematicians have beauty, economy, and connectivity, as Steve tells us. He explains how he ruthlessly simplifies a problem to the point where - while it still seems impossible - it is down to its bare essentials. That’s when he attacks. We talk about how in science you must stick your neck out with bold assertions, even if you might get your head chopped off as a consequence. While we typically highlight the objective aspects of science, Steve points out how the subjective aspects of personal taste and style are just as important for choosing and solving problems . 

For more information on Night Science, visit www.night-science.org .