Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications

COMAP Video Library

Use the power of video to explore the world of mathematics with COMAP’s award-winning video series.

COMAP videos have won dozens of academic and television awards, including the American Film and Video Award Gold Medal, and the Golden Hugo from the National Science Films Board.

COMAP developed the PBS television series and textbook For All Practical Purposes: An Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics.

COMAP developed two PBS television series Against All Odds: Inside Statistics and Algebra: In Simplest Terms.

Against All Odds: Inside Statistics

Picking up where the original Against All Odds left off in the 1980s, the new series maintains the same emphasis on “doing” statistics. Video modules take viewers on location to where people from all walks of life are using statistics in their work. Online materials allow viewers to practice and review what they’ve learned.

Each unit is based on a video module that introduces a statistical topic in real-world context. Complementing each video module are a Student Guide and Faculty Guide specific to the unit. These go into greater depth on the statistical concepts and contain valuable exercises and review material.

About the Host

Dr. Pardis Sabeti is a computational geneticist who uses statistics in her own work combing through the evolutionary record found in our genes. She’s developed algorithms to detect the genetic signatures of adaptation in humans and the microbial organisms that infect us. One part of her current research investigates the evolutionary history of the deadly hemorrhagic disease Lassa fever, which is widespread in West Africa. Learning more about the genomes of microbes that cause diseases like Lassa, Ebola, and malaria should help in the development of treatments and cures.

Elections: Pick a Winner: Decision Making in a Democracy

There are many situations in which we are required to make choices, either individually or collectively. For example, when we vote, we hope to achieve fair results. The mathematics of social choice can be used to characterize and compare different voting systems, and to measure what we mean by "fairness." What is a good way for a group to make a democratic decision?

Statistics: Decisions Through Data

Statistics: Decisions Through Data is an introductory statistics course that unravels the statistical arguments behind surveys, polls, experiments, and product claims. Each episode begins with a documentary segment that engages students' interest, and then teaches skills to gather data, analyze patterns, and draw conclusions about real-world issues.

Discrete Math: Cracking the Code

What mathematical tools do network designers use to stop "hackers" from stealing valuable information? Discrete Mathematics: Cracking the Code is an introduction to the mathematics of electronic information transmission, including Universal Product Codes, as well as public-key cryptography, the most complete data security tool available. This video is ideal for computer science, math topics, or algebra classes.

Geometry: New Tools For New Technologies - Hour One

How is geometry used to program a robot's movement? How do zoo planners use geometry to make habitats that are enjoyable and safe? Why do people who plan garbage pickups and snowplow routes need geometry? Geometry: New Tools for New Technologies I and II explores the exciting world of Geometry in the 20th century.

Geometry: New Tools For New Technologies - Hour Two

How is geometry used to program a robot's movement? How do zoo planners use geometry to make habitats that are enjoyable and safe? Why do people who plan garbage pickups and snowplow routes need geometry? Geometry: New Tools for New Technologies I and II explores the exciting world of Geometry in the 20th century.

Calculus: Understanding Change

How do doctors and pharmacologists use calculus to prescribe drugs? How do engineers use area, volume, and pressure equations to design dams? Calculus: Understanding Change gives students a powerful demonstration of the critical role calculus plays in our lives.

Algebra: Language for a Changing World

What algebra is used by police to calculate speeding fines? Can algebra provide a useful tool in helping our environment? Algebra: Language for a Changing World is an overview of the most essential early concepts in Algebra. Interesting real-world contexts and worked problems using real data introduce input and output variables, symbolic and graphical representation, order of operations, and linear relationships. This half-hour program includes a user's guide with reproducible student exercises and quizzes.

Math TV: Computer Science and Social Choice - When is a Vote Not a Vote?

In certain types of elections, not all votes carry the same weight, and some voters have more power than others. The mathematics behind elections demonstrates that not all voting systems are created equal.

Math TV: Geometry - Is There a Connection Between Mathematics and Beauty?

Artists and architects from da Vinci to M.C. Escher use the golden ratio to define proportions that are pleasing to the human eye. Discover the relationship between the beauty of the natural world and the underlying principles of geometry. See mathematical patterns within flower blossoms, scales, shells, and even fruit.

Math TV: Management Science - How Did Mathematics Help Put a Man on the Moon?

Neil Armstrong's famous walk on the moon was a technological milestone. Learn how mathematics helped coordinate the efforts of the Apollo mission. Tools like Dijkstra's algorithm, Hamiltonian circuits, and linear programming methods are used by business to manufacture products quickly and easily.

Math TV: Statistics & Probability - Do Casinos Really Gamble with Their Profits?

Behind every successful casino operation is a mathematician who understands the concept of probability theory, especially the Central Limit Theorem. See how casinos profit from the fact that a chance outcome, repeated many times, can be predicted with great certainty.

Algebra: In Simplest Terms

A video instructional series on algebra for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 26 half-hour video programs and coordinated books.

In this series, host Sol Garfunkel explains how algebra is used for solving real-world problems and clearly explains concepts that may baffle many students. Graphic illustrations and on-location examples help students connect mathematics to daily life. The series also has applications in geometry and calculus instruction. Algebra is also valuable for teachers seeking to review the subject matter.

For All Practical Purposes: An Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics

For All Practical Purposes: An Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics, the companion video to the best-selling text For All Practical Purposes, is an introductory liberal arts mathematics course shown nationally on PBS television stations and available on videotape.

Each of the 26 half-hour episodes uses real-life examples to help teach a basic understanding of mathematics and its relationship to other areas of study. Mathematical problem solving is shown to influence everything from the success of savvy entrepreneurs to the fairness of voting practices. Examples are pulled from management science, social science, design, and computer science.

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COMAP develops curriculum resources, professional development programs, and contest opportunities that are multidisciplinary, academically rigorous, and fun for educators and students. COMAP's educational philosophy is centered around mathematical modeling: using mathematical tools to explore real-world problems.

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