BRADY HARAN: So good Will

Hunting in the film is a troubled mathematical genius. And he solved this problem

on the blackboard. There are a few candidates for

the real Will Hunting. Shall we talk about them? Will Hunting solves

this problem. There is an urban legend that’s

similar of a student who ran into his exam late. And he copied down the problem

from the board, and he went and solved them. And the last one seemed

really hard, but he kept working on it. And he managed to

solve it, and he handed in his exam paper. And then the professor rings

him that night saying, you were only meant to do the

first few problems. The last one was an unsolvable

problem. Oh, you’ve solved it! So that’s an urban legend. Great thing about that

is that it happened. So the real story of that

is there was a guy called George Dantzig. He was a Ph.D. Mathematician. And it wasn’t an exam. It was a lecture. He went into his lecture, and he

copied down the homework on the board, these two problems. And he went home and

solved them. And he handed them in, and it

did seem harder than usual. And his professor went,

oh, just throw it onto the desk, will you? The professor– and this is what happened,

apparently. This is the true story. This is how he tells it– wakes him up six weeks later

banging on his door, 8 o’clock in the morning on a Sunday

morning, saying, can I write the introduction

to your paper? He goes, what paper? He goes, those two problems

you solved were unsolved statistical problems

that you’ve done. And this is the first he’s

ever heard of it. This actually happened. George Dantzig was his name. A year later when he had to pick

his Ph.D. topic, he asked his professor what

he should do. And his professor said, oh, just

put those two problems in a binder, and we’ll call

that your thesis. Maybe you have to have done a

Ph.D. to understand how much I hate him right now. So that’s one candidate for the

real good Will Hunting. There’s another famous possible

candidate for this. There was a guy called

William Sidis. Now he was an American

guy who was a child genius, a child prodigy. They said he had an

IQ of over 250. And at the age of 11, he was

giving a lecture at Harvard for the Harvard mathematicians

on some sort– He was touted as he will

grow up to be a great mathematician someday. He got into trouble

as a young man. He carried the red flag

at a Communist rally. And so he was arrested. And he was arrested for

assaulting a policeman. And part of his bail– INTERVIEWER: You hit

a cop, you go down. BRADY HARAN: Yeah! Yeah, that’s right. And if you’re a Communist

as well. So part of his bail was to get

a job as a technician at MIT, which is kind of like Will

Hunting, and to see a psychologist. And the psychologist that he had

to see was his own father, who put him in a private asylum

for a whole year, which he called mental torture. When he came out, he pretty

much swore off academia, mathematics, and spent the

rest of his life taking clerical work, office jobs,

working the adding machines. He found it relaxing. He quite liked the adding

machines, but swore off mathematics for the

rest of his life. It’s possible that the story of

William Sidis that I just told may have influenced Matt

Damon, because they were both Harvard people. So Matt Damon went to

Harvard as well. And so it’s a famous story,

and he was a very famous child prodigy. So it’s quite possible. But in the film, what they

reference is Ramanujan. Ramanujan was this famous

Indian clerk. I have talked about him before,

but I’ll tell his story properly this time. He was a mathematical genius,

again, because where he was in India, he had very limited

mathematical education. He only had a couple of maths

textbooks to work from. And only from this, he was able

to reinvent a whole bunch of mathematical results

by his own. He dropped out of college,

because he was so obsessed with his maths he was failing

his other subjects. And he had to take a

job in an office. He sent his mathematical results

to some Cambridge mathematicians including

Hardy, who realized how important, how amazing

it was, and invited him over to Cambridge. If you want to understand the

relationship between the professor in the film and Will

Hunting, then well, what I’ve got here is a quote from

Hardy about Ramanujan. I think it’s an important quote,

and I think it will explain what’s happening

in the film. So if I may read it from here. He said– So that’s what Hardy thought

about Ramanujan. And you have to remember this. If you see the film, this is how

the professor feels about Will Hunting. When they’re at loggerheads,

when he’s so concerned about his career, it’s because there

is the sense that mathematics is a young man’s game. This is how Hardy felt

about Ramanujan. This is how the professor in

the film feels about Will Hunting as well. So another big thing in the

film is the Fields Medal. The professor in the film is a

Fields Medal winner, if I get that right. And they make a big

deal of it. They call it the Nobel

Prize of mathematics, which is kind of true. They give four of these medals

every four years. And it is a big deal in maths. There is no Nobel Prize

in mathematics. The rumor that goes around

maths departments is that Nobel didn’t like

mathematicians. There’s the story that his

wife ran off with a mathematician. Which is not true, because

he was a bachelor, and he wasn’t married. So it isn’t true at all. He just didn’t value maths. He was interested in physics and

chemistry, and he wasn’t interested in maths. That’s why there is no Nobel

Prize in biology. INTERVIEWER: When you watch

“Good Will Hunting”, does it make you feel good about

mathematics? BRADY HARAN: Yeah. INTERVIEWER: Is it good for

mathematics, that film? BRADY HARAN: Yeah. Because what it does,

is it shows– well, first of all, it shows mathematicians as human beings. They’re not portrayed as nerdy

stereotypes, awkward, or socially awkward or anything

like that. They’re just guys with a job. And that’s what we are. We are just guys with a job. We’re good at our job. What’s wrong with that? And there are genuine

personalities in there. You’ve got the young

mathematician who doesn’t appreciate what he’s got. There’s the Ph.D. student

who’s jealous of all the attention Will Hunting

is getting. We’ve got the professor who is

a regular guy, even though he’s highly regarded in his

field and he’s a very important mathematician,

fictional though he is. He’s a regular guy. He has his own problems. He has his own weaknesses. And it does show that

we are human.

Great video 🙂

You remind me of the Brian Cox of maths, no idea why

DO YOU LIKE APPLES!

Srinivasa Ramanujan

This is the best commentary I have heard about the Will Hunting movie. The fact that you mentioned William Sidis was interesting because, I was examining the home page of the , ''Prometheus Society'' a high IQ society. On their page was an article called ''The gift of fire'', the story of William Sidis. Have a look. Tnx, JT (IQ 80).

Do mathematicians really use the word “Maths” or is it simply a British term? Seems weird to me over here in the U.S. “Maths” would be plural, but the very definition of “Math” is both singular and plural, correct?

One of my favourite channels talking about my favourite movie. Thank you

In America we drop the s. Looks right.

The Fields Medal and the Abel Prize are the top 2 math prizes available. I really like the Fields Medal because the mathematician behind it was a Canadian, and it emphasizes contributions done in the prime of one's mathematical career – namely why the prize is only awarded to those under the age of 40 – rather than like the Nobel Prize which is usually awarded long after a discovery or realization and almost at a point where such knowledge would be considered a little out of fashion.

Every university has that story. Sidis eventually retired to normal life because none of his students would take him seriously at Harvard. What I want you to go over are the rest of the math problems in the movie.The graph problem was of course too easy for the script.

You have to love the pigeons wall paper!

My late wife's cousin wrote his mathematics thesis while watching television.

Hey camera guy: BACK UP

This video is old so perhaps no one will ever see this comment, but I thought the trees had to be homeomorphic. Or was the rule that they couldn't be homeomorphic? I'm confused.

Numberfile = Austin powers + Brick top

Excellent video(s)

Excellent video. New subscriber here…

count how many times he says any version of the word math.

I'm one of the worst students in my math class in germany, but damn I love this channel.

It made me rise some interest in maths (which I could never even think of 1 year ago). Thanks for showing us how beautiful maths can be!

Some say Antichrist will be a genius.

Perhaps there is sth to it and George Bernard Dantzig prefigures him … know why?

G 71 070 01

B 66 130 07

D 68 190 15

A 65 250 20

N 78 320 28

T 84 400 32

Z 90 490 32

I 73 560 35

G 71 630 36

How much coke do you have to do to get pupils that large?

Is it weird that it's not complicated at all?

this guy has to do a documentary

Dissing biology huh? Very unprofessional

Love that explanation, can you do a "thumbnail-sketch" concerning string theory as multi-dimensions, what are these recent theorys driving at, it's almost unimaginable, please, if you may, turn on the lights.

This is a wonderful video.

That second guy just looks like Daniel Tosh

what title is the song at the very end of this movie? I cant find its version in the ost of the film.

As a side note the soundtrack in the movie is by Elliott Smith ("Between the Bars", "Angeles", "No Name #3", "Say Yes" and "Miss Misery") and there are some similarities to Will in the movie. Elliott Smith was a musical genius, arguably one of the greatest acoustic guitar composers, players and arrangers of all time.

The bird with his head cut off is troubling!

All my life, I'm 72, IQ 132 and went to Grammar School, I've felt I was missing something by not understanding maths, especially Algebra. I get geometry, trigonometry, Pythagorus' theorem, easy. So why is algebra such a mystery?

is that an Enigma behind him?

Makes me wonder what mathematicians think of Numb3rs ?(the show)

Srinivasa Ramanujan is THE LEGEND.

Ramanujan had acess to texts of viedic matematics which were originated and developed in INDIA.

The very first student you list is almost exactly the same as the beginning of the Stephan Hawking movie Theory of Everything.

Sidis also had written multiple books and may have written more even. But according to them he took an interest in physics, funnily enough.

He would probably have a greater mathematician if he could have been caught and tamed a little in his youth… That sounds like Anakin Skywalker!

needs more zoom

Nooooo that's where you cut off the Hardy quote? But the

very next sentenceis: "On the other hand he would have been less of a Ramanujan, and more of a European professor, and the loss might have been greater than the gain."Great video, obviously >.<

Can you guys please invite me to your next little get together?

As a matter of fact, I'll plan one.

Will you come if I invite you!?

You're so fun! I sit at home at my desk in my bedroom and do "maths" with you, on my phone, …almost like you are here!

I even have sharpies!

Pvobvem hahahah ? love this guy. Every night before i go to sleep this is my channel to watch

Love this summation so much

The real Will Hunting was my childhood friend, and Damon's classmate, JB. He grew up in the Projects, and went to Harvard on full scholarship. But in reality, there were hundreds of us local Boston kids with high IQs facing a world that thought the idea that even ONE of us existed was so creative and revolutionary that two idiots who wrote a screenplay about the idea were considered so imaginative they were given an award for their brilliance.

could someone please tell me the name of that outro music?

Who is the Real gandalf?

Srinivasan Ramanujan – the great mathematician from India especially Tamilnadu (Kanchipuram)

And I feel so proud that I also from the same place.

If you equate the guy to a genius of course it was torture. I'm no communist but it is all just a power struggle for women, it is torture. And that's does seem like the motivating driver for the majority of the characters

You nearly had me at the end there “human” yea right 😉

The George Dantzig homework story is extraordinarily similar one about Stephen Hawking, told by his Oxford math professor. While his dormitory mates worked all week to solve just a few of 13 problems, Hawking drank his way through a crate of beer, uninterested in the homework or school. Hawking started the homework the morning of the day the assignment was due. Later, as class time approached, his dorm mates waited for Hawking to come downstairs. One of his mates asked Hawking how he'd done on the homework. Hawking replied that he'd only gotten the first eleven done (only because he'd run out of time). In typical Oxford form, the professor met with students individually to discuss their work. The professor was obviously impressed, yet noted that Hawking seemed completely indifferent. As Hawking left the professor's office he tossed the homework in the waste basket. His professor commented "Anyone else would have framed it." This was before Hawking was diagnosed with ALS. He would later credit ALS for focusing his attention on doing something meaningful with his life, not knowing if he had months or years to live.

all cops are bastards

more human than human

Without knowing the two subjects that well, you would presume that somebody with an aptitude for mathematics will be able to transfer their talent to physics. And with how people with exceptional talent generally gravitate through early life as standing out as exceptional until they find a situation where they are grouped with other talented people.. You wonder with the perception of Einstein and Hawking using maths to work out the world… The way kids attach emotional connections to Hero figures… You wonder why anyone exceptional picks pure mathematics?

I'm making 'Slappy the Bong Weasel' … a story about Obama's failure at Harvard.

There is a nobel prize in biology tho. Its split into medicine and physiology since biology is such an expansive field.

Soooooo…Matt Damon isn't that creative. He stole concepts from real life stories and manufactured a new story. Thank you for exposing his secret.

That guy can't be that smart if he was a communist

7:00

SHOTS FIRED

Math is not invented, is discovered. That`s why people can re-discover something that was discovered by others.

Accidentally solved 2 questions. Accidentally got a doctorate.

I think every teachers and professor should just give unsolved problems at least the first day with their new student, like "here's your first problem of the year, try to solve it as homework, and if you don't, it's okay it's a pretty hard one", and tell them that it is unsolvable only after, this only has benefits : maybe the problem will be solved, the students will learn things by trying, and that will teach them that even if it seems impossible, it doesn't means it is, they would never have even tried if they were told it was unsolved before even showing it, and that's the most important thing, just try

There IS a NP in Biology they just call it Medicine/Physiology

"an IQ of over 250". Oh come on. You're a mathematician, and I know you know darn well that an IQ of 250 would be 10 standard deviations above the mean on a bell curve, so why would you repeat such preposterous claim?

Yea so that's all very interesting but the real question remains untouched. Do you have a round door?

Iq of 250 is impossible

Why do you call Math Maths, that’s a English thing, right?

Yes he solved the problem left the United States thanks to Mr Trump. Greetings from Brooklyn

Lol you are amazing, thank you ?

Oh my …. This guy is sooo attractive !

I think if you are at all thoughtful the movie is interesting because in the end Mat Damon chooses very human healthy pursuits over intellectual aggrandizement. I love the film. I do wonder though about Sidis, who no doubt saw communism as a sort of liberation of human affairs, but I wonder how a guy with a IQ of 250 could not realise that one simple advancement in maths or science can often save more lives than any political movement which tends to cost lives.

Most math people stop producing at 40.

If only math teachers could show the interest and passion for the subject as this guy does. Honestly, I've always been afraid of maths, but he had me fascinated. A true inspiration…

rmamanujan was not a cleark.. don't detoriate his his image like this please

What an excellent video! Watched it in full.

this guy looks like johnny rotten's well-adjusted grand nephew

When he says "solve them" at the :25 mark

I came into my final exam an hour late. Differential Equations. It was a two hour test. I finished before anyone else and was the only one who got 100%.

Nice set of mathematical stories. The story about George Danzig is best told in his own account, found in the book Mathematical People. Ramanujan learned his maths, before studying under Hardy at Cambridge, from a synopsis of theorems by Carr. Hardy described the book as not extraordinary, but I have a copy and the book is well organized, interesting, and inspiring. The book is loaded with great inspiring theorems. It is a great book. Upon receipt of Ramanujan's first letter with many stunning theorems, Hardy commented that it couldn't have come from a crackpot and many of the theorems must be true because nobody would have the imagination to dream up such formulations and theorems. George Polya describes (in his book, as I recall entitled The George Polya Picture Book) the one student he had that truely scared him. It was Jon (John) von Neumann. Von Neumann was a student in Polya's course, presumably a number theory course at Gottingen, and Polya went on to described an unproven theorem, commenting that it was probably very difficult to prove. Von Neumann then raised his hand and asked to go to the blackboard, whereupon he rigorously proved the theorem. Polya stated that he was thereafter afraid of the young von Neumann.

How about those green apples !….

What about Ted Kacinski, John Nash (beautiful mind) ?

That's easy – me. ?

I have an IQ of 60ish? Am I also a prodigy?

William Sidis

I think he might be Chris Lagan

pwobwem

Whats the square route of pie ?

Mathematicians are human??

Discovered the story of William Sidis in this video. All respect to the comrade.

Comrades of STEM, unite!

Best line in the movie for me was when Will said, 'Maybe I don't want to spend the rest of my effing life explaining things to people.'

7:00 a lot of biology research is applicable to the Nobel prize in physiology

The speed of dilation of this chaps eyes ment i couldnt concentrate as hard as i hoped on this presentation .

You had me at 0:45

Such sheer delight

How many years did you spend on this movie?

Uncritical support of Sidis

IQ 250? That must be in Fahrenheit.

yeah

but

duudMinnie Driver.

Nerd accidentally fills in sudaku numbers and all other nerds get boners.

I study math as an undergrad myself and I would say that on average our social skills are quite a bit lower compared to students with other majors.

A great film no doubt and some great research! But you've forgot to uncover who their "chief negotiators" were…

A great film no doubt and some great research! But you've forgot to uncover who their "chief negotiators" were…