Imagine a world where flying robots watch over our borders, assist with search and rescue missions, and survey roads and pipelines. Sounds like science fiction, but in many parts of the country it's a reality.
Filmmaker Alex Rivera has been interested in drones for years. His 2008 sci-fi thriller, Sleep Dealer, imagines a dystopian future where the U.S.-Mexico border is aggressively policed by drones, and migrant workers can only cross it virtually, by plugging their bodies into a digital network of robots. He told Steve Paulson why he believes drones are the meme of our time.
Missy Cummings studies unmanned systems like drones, as director of Duke University’s Humans and Autonomy Lab. Charles Monroe-Kane spoke with her about a few of the ways drones are being used outside of the military.
Why do Americans suck at math? And why do so many claim to hate math? In a recent survey, a third of respondents said they'd rather clean the bathroom than solve an equation. In today's show, mathematicians tell us what we're missing.
Science writer Jennifer Ouellette spent a year confronting her math phobia straight on. She taught herself calculus. It helped her win at Vegas, get a good mortgage, and might just save her from a zombie apocalypse.
Sarah Flannery is an Irish mathematician and former child prodigy. She won the EU Young Scientist of the Year award when she was 16 for her work on the Cayley-Purser algorithm. She challenges us to the Russian Postal System puzzle.
Persi Diaconis was a stage magician before he discovered probability theory and became one of the world's leading mathematicians. He tells us about some very powerful formulas derived from card shuffles and magic tricks.
August is Ghost Month in Taiwan—a time to commemorate the dead: burn incense, visit shrines, honor ancestors, and avoid large purchases. It's also the setting for Ed Lin's newest mystery. Lin is a 3-time winner of the Asian-American Literary Award.