mathematics goes reality TV!

In 1978 I was on the British team for the 20th International Mathematical Olympiad (recollections of the trip). It was in Romania and the event was prime time news … and I was one of a group interviewed for the news of the event. the following year the 21st IMO was held in London and there was no press coverage that I found whatsoever. OK mathematics is hardly a spectator sport, but the complete British lack of interest in anything remotely intellectual was disturbing.

But now … nearly 30 years later … perhaps things are changing. On Sunday BBC2 are showing a 90min documentary about the olympiad team. Maybe maths will get sexy!

Beautiful Young Minds1
BBC2 Sun 14 Oct, 9:00 pm – 10:30 pm 90mins
Beautiful Young Minds tells the story of some of the brightest mathematical brains of a generation. Each year, exceptionally gifted teenagers from over 90 countries compete for medals at the International Mathematical Olympiad. The film follows a group of brilliant teenagers as they battle it out to become the chosen six selected to represent the UK.

  1. unfortunately the BBC’s own page on this disappeared at the end of the week – why do they do this! – but there are many descriptions and reviews of it on the web including one at [back]