Everyday Science and Math #252

February 14, 2014

Image from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

This week we're looking at some ordinary life experiences that harbor extraordinary science and math secrets. Filmmaker and author Simon Singh joins us to talk about his book "The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets". Mathematician Christopher McKinlay shares his experience using statistics to hack online dating. And we'll talk to culinary columnist J. Kenji Lopez-Alt about the science of the perfect chocolate chip cookie.


  • Simon Singh
  • J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
  • Christopher McKinlay

Guest Bios

Simon Singh

Simon Singh received his Ph.D. in particle physics from the University of Cambridge. A former BBC producer, he directed the BAFTA Award-winning documentary "Fermat's Last Theorem" and wrote "Fermat's Enigma", the bestselling book on the same subject. He has also written "The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets", "The Code Book", "Big Bang", and "Trick or Treatment: the Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine".

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats, where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab. He is the author of the upcoming book "The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science", which will be released as a two volume box set in the fall. He currently resides in Harlem with his wife, who is much smarter than him, and his two dogs, who are only moderately smarter than him.

Christopher McKinlay

Christopher McKinlay received his PhD in Mathematics from UCLA in June of 2013. He is currently doing postdoctoral research in machine learning and computational metagenomics at UMN.

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