Thursday, March 29, 2012


I was talking with a colleague the other day about science videos and that more scientists were making short films about what their research is about, how they go about doing research, and some of the interesting things they are discovering. This colleague, who is a statistician/modeler, suggested that this activity was not something he could participate in because his area was too abstract and did not lend itself well to visual media.

I was a bit surprised by this statement and pointed out that there were lots of interesting and informative science videos that deal with math, physics, and similar topics. I suggested he take a look at YouTube where one can find some quite amazing and creative examples. His reaction to this suggestion indicated that he thought YouTube was a repository comprised of mostly amateur, puerile videos.  Although there are a lot of those, there are many excellent and professionally-produced videos.

Also, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the US (Google being first).

Anyway, I often conduct searches on science topics on YouTube just to see what interesting and creative videos are out there. Here is one I came across recently, which was created by Cristóbal Vila, a 3D illustrator and animator (with no formal science background that I can see). It is about geometry and mathematical relationships, using examples from nature to illustrate concepts.  The video is embedded below, but you can read more about how the video was made here.  Last I checked, this video has been viewed over 2 million times on YouTube. That's a lot of people potentially inspired to learn more about the mathematical proportions in nature.

Enjoy..(to see a high resolution version select the HD version and full screen mode to view)


Zen Faulkes said...

I read recently that YouTube searches now exceed Google searches.

River Mud said...

As a lowly adjunct professor, youtube is a great tool for finding new and barely-funded documentaries on emerging research.

One struggle that still exists, though, is for videos/documentaries on success stories. The best funded and best produced documentaries are almost categorically apocalyptic.