Mathematics: Invented or Discovered?

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Mario Livio

Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist, a best-selling author and a popular lecturer. His popular book The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World’s Most Astonishing Number won the Peano Prize for 2003, and the International Pythagoras Prize for 2004, as the best popular book on mathematics.

Mario Livio discusses the complementary processes of mathematical invention and discovery. While we invent some mathematical concepts—such as prime and imaginary numbers—by deciding how to define them, these concepts can lead to a plethora of mathematical discoveries.

This program is part of The Big Idea Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.