In this one-off documentary, David Malone looks at four brilliant mathematicians – Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing – whose genius has profoundly affected us, but which tragically drove them insane and eventually led to them all committing suicide.
Sounds uplifting, huh? Well, David Malone, the British filmmaker, does a really great job tracing how mathematical ideas tie together the four individuals through history. While some of the films claims are a bit…over the top and dramatic, overall the content is solid and quite informative. There’s a lot of information given not only about mathematics, but about how these four individuals dealt with various difficult aspects of their personal lives. These videos may still be up on YouTube, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for them being there for long given the copy protection issues involved. Having said that, I won’t even attempt to embed one of the videos here. But you CAN watch a clip directly from the BBC 4 official page by clicking here. If provided with the opportunity, you should take advantage of checking it out the program in its entirety.