John D. Barrow--Mathematics and Sport

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source: GreshamCollege       2011年12月6日
A series of free public lectures on the Mathematics behind Sport, marking the approach to the 2012 London Olympics. For further information about this on-going series of free public lectures, please visit the Gresham College website: http://www.gresham.ac.uk
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lectures are available from the Gresham College website: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and...

1:01:55 Maths and Sport: How Fast Can Usain Bolt Run? 
How can Usain Bolt improve his world 100 metres sprint record significantly without improving his speed? How fast should he be able to run? We will also examine the mechanics of sprinting and the effects of wind assistance, timing accuracy, and altitude on sprint times and look at the status of the long-standing women's sprint world records set by the late Florence Griffiths Joyner ('Flo-Jo') in 1988.
1:02:28 Maths and Sport: Strength and Power  
Top athletes seem to get bigger and bigger. How does size affect performance? Why do some sports have weight categories while others don't? What types of lever are employed in sports events like gymnastics and wrestling and how much force does a karate blow need to exert to break a brick? These are some of the questions that we will answer by using simple maths.
1:02:11 Maths and Sport: Records, Medals and Drug Taking 
We examine the striking patterns between world record performances in different sports and ask what events an ambitious nation should target as the 'easiest' in which to win Olympic medals. How does Olympic success correlate with a nation's GNP? How does the location of the Olympics affect the chance of record breaking? And how can simple statistics help us understand the likelihood of winning streaks and the chance that an innocent athlete will fail a drugs test?
1:08:20 Mathematics and Sport: Let's Twist Again  
Throwing things, and jumping up and down or along, lies at the root of many Olympic events. In the gymnasium, the velodrome, and the diving pool we also see the key role of rotation in dramatic displays of strength and speed. What light does simple maths shed on these movements and the stress they place on equipment and the human body? Why do high jumpers use the Fosbury flop and long jumpers cycle in the air? How high can rugby players jump in the line out? These are a few of the questions that maths can help us answer.
1:00:38 Mathematics and Sport: On the Waterfront 
What can maths tells us about the best way to rig a rowing eight? Does a cox help or hinder a racing boat? How does the speed of a kayak or a canoe depend on the number of paddlers? And what if you fall in -- can maths tell us anything about the best way to swim?
1:11:33 Mathematics and Sport: Final Score
Why are there so many different scoring systems in operation in sport? We look at how structuring matches into a series of sets affects the relative roles of luck and skill in determining the winner of the contest. Did table tennis make a significant change to the game when it changed its scoring system? We also look at events like the decathlon where points are awarded for performances in different disciplines to see what sort of decathlete is most likely to win given the present points system.
55:22 Can You Do Mathematics In A Crowd? 
We all find ourselves in crowds every so often. Whilst human behaviour in general can be very hard to predict, it is possible, to a certain extent, to predict the behaviour of large numbers of people in a crowd. In this lecture I will explain the mathematics behind herding and flocking and will use this to shed some insight into how crowds of people behave. I will then show how this is helpful for the designers of sports stadia, the police, the home office and even retail stores.

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