The Joy of Why

“The Joy of Why” is a Quanta Magazine podcast about curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge. The mathematician and author Steven Strogatz and the astrophysicist and author Janna Levin take turns interviewing leading researchers about the great scientific and mathematical questions of our time. New episodes are released every other Thursday.

Quanta Magazine

“The Joy of Why” is a Quanta Magazine podcast about curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge. The mathematician and author Steven Strogatz and the astrophysicist and author Janna Levin take turns interviewing leading researchers about the great scientific and mathematical questions of our time. New episodes are released every other Thursday.

Quanta Magazine

February 1, 202435min 41sec

We tend to think of mathematics as purely logical, but the teaching of math, its usefulness and its workings are packed with nuance. So what is “good” mathematics? In 2007, the mathematician **Terence Tao** wrote an essay for the “Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society” that sought to answer this question. Today, as the recipient of a Fields Medal, a Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics and a MacArthur Fellowship, Tao is among the most prolific mathematicians alive. In this episode, he joins **Steven Strogatz** to revisit the makings of good mathematics.