Many mathematicians set their sights on conquering the stock market, with dreams of unbridled financial success. But Scott Richard, who holds degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering from MIT and Princeton University, has dedicated himself to solving problems that matter to the average person. Which confusingly includes using mathematics to make another attempt at composing the world’s ugliest piece of music. Um, thanks Scott?
In this TED talk he describes the process of using science and mathematics to create a piece of music that’s devoid of any patterns or repetition, traits usually found in pieces considered to be beautiful. Using the work of mathematician Évariste Galois and a concept known as Golomb Rulers, Richard created a piece specifically for the piano that is, admittedly, very hard on the ears.
If you want to forego the technical stuff just skip ahead to the 7:38 mark in the video, turn up your speakers and prepare to have your roommates or neighbours come banging on your door.