The Annotated Numberphile a Retrospective by Year

Last updated on March 21st, 2024

The Annotated Numberphile is a new project that I am working on. I’ve wanted to go back through the series to the beginning and binge-watch all the videos. There are plenty that I have missed over the years. I’m a subscriber but I only watch those whose title or thumbnail interests me. Yet, I know there are a few gems that would appeal to me even if I don’t know it yet. In this way, I can say that I have seen each Numberphile video at least once.

The title for this project is in honor of Martin Gardner. He is one of the most important science communicators. Who influenced many with his columns in Scientific American. He was also a scholar of Alice in Wonderland. Producing several editions of The Annotated Alice. It has the history and references in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the sequel. I own the final version that includes all the notes over the years.

Why Look Back on Numberphile

Numberphile turned 10 on November 11th, 2021. That’s right, it launched on 11-11-11! This is a pretty auspicious date. In numerology, 11 is a master number. It has greater significance than any other single digit. My birthday is also on February 11th making it a significant number for me.

But, I have three reasons why I wanted to do this project.

  1. Return to the Well

Numberphile is a great source of inspiration for me. I’m going through a difficult time. Reviewing videos seemed like a good way to seek some comfort. Also, since this project is massive, I thought it would be a good distraction when I get anxious. It is an act of self-care.

  1. Gather Research and References in the Same Place

By annotation, I mean adding footnotes to videos that have personal references for me. It is a kind of walking tour of my life with mathematics. Sharing the things that I’ve learned over the years. That might be interesting to people.

  1. Organize Videos for Archival Purposes

This is also an excuse to make some playlists for the occasion. It might be beneficial to people doing their own research. Or people who also want to binge-watch videos in an organized way. I’ve done this in two styles. For my own purpose, I am going in anniversary order.

Video Playlists and Publication Schedule

Anniversary order means each year stretches from Nov 11th to Nov 10th of the next year. In this way, it feels more like the seasons of a TV show. With the 10th anniversary episode at the beginning of a new playlist. Instead of occurring near the end of 2021. (But, I’ve also organized things by year for those who prefer that.)

Here are the playlists for reference:

We are currently at 12 years and that will go from Nov 11th, 2023 to Nov 10th, 2024. My plan is to cover that in January of 2025. And so on as long as I and Numberphile are still around. I plan on keeping all these playlists up to date.

My current plan is to publish one blog per month. But, I would like to finish before the end of the year. So, I will combine some years for the ones that have less than 60 videos. That would cover the next nine months until January 1st, 2025.

Well, those are my plans and we will see if I follow through. But, I’m already making my way through the first year. It is a lot of fun to reflect on things. I hope people will enjoy this series. I’d love you to follow along and share your memories with me.

Continue Reading

  1. Join Me on the Finite Group Math Comm Discord
  2. 25 Math Love Songs and Other Mathematically Themed Videos
  3. 15 Creative Mathematical Cross Stitch Patterns for Math & Science Enthusiasts

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