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The Story of 1
The Story of 1
Actors: Terry Jones, Marcus du Sautoy, Ahmed Boulane, Fred Challa
Director: Nick Murphy
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 0min

Studio: Pbs Release Date: 05/06/2009 Run time: 60 minutes


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Movie Details

Actors: Terry Jones, Marcus du Sautoy, Ahmed Boulane, Fred Challa
Director: Nick Murphy
Creators: Fred Challa, Chris Hartley, Nick Murphy, Peter Norrey, Adam Kemp, Jasper James, Tamara Bodenham
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, History
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/21/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

It's math, it's history, it's a lot of fun
DWD | Indianapolis, IN | 04/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I watched this when it premiered on my local PBS affiliate and I thought it was a lot of fun and full of loads and loads of interesting history.

As a world history teacher, I am always on the lookout for something that can tell our story with a twist. This one does it quite nicely.

The documentary tells the story of man's use of one (and other numbers, but the focus always returns to the number 1) throughout time with a humorous twist. It explores early uses of math, why mankind had to develop math, why the Roman Numerals were inferior to our current system and continues on to the modern use of binary numbers.

As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted it for my history class. It will be great as a different sort of review of the history that we have studied thus far.

I give this one a grade of 'A'."
History of Math
Beverly E. Van Citters | Glendale, CA USA | 10/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this program on a PBS station and loved it! As a college professor teaching in a basic skills 'Learning Community' of Math and Reading, I found this DVD gave students a framework to understand and see the progression of the very concepts they were using in basic math classes. Much class discussion ensued because of the humor and the presentation provided. I agree with another reviewer. This program is effective for students from grades 6 up to and including college. What a fun way to learn! I purchased my own DVD but also ordered a copy for our college library."
Great math documentary
J. Hamilton | Visalia, CA | 04/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I watched this when it was shown on PBS one night. It is a fantastic blend of humor and math history. Being a math teacher I immediately found myself figuring out how to work this movie into my lesson plans. Any one that has an appreciation for math and history will love this film."
A story for every1
Vincent D. Pisano | CT, USA | 01/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Story of 1 is a terrific hybrid of history and mathematical concepts. While both my wife and I are educators, my field is history and hers is math, and we both feel that this entertaining documentary would work exceptionally for middle-school students right on through college age, and in both of our respective disciplines.

Terry Jones, enjoyable as always, traces the number one through its pre-historic beginnings to its current applications in computer binary code and reveals how numbers and concepts transformed civilizations in the time between. Matters presented include the progress of one with other numbers and how civilizations were allowed to grow as a result; the inefficiency of Roman numerals over Arabic (Indian!) numerals and the latter's capitalist conquest; and finally with Leibniz's assertion that only one and zero are necessary for any mathematical problem. Also, most interestingly, he shows the Australian aboriginal culture whose native counting system never moved beyond the number one. He does this, of course, in his usual humorous way with the assistance of modern experts and actors in period clothing. He also travels to many of the sites to show first-hand the evidence for that which he is explaining.

Mr. Jones, like me, is clearly not an expert in mathematical concepts - he is more comfortable with the historical details - but the viewer learns alongside him in clearly illustrated sequences where imaginative animations have been added for good measure. Likewise, it offers an historical appreciation and understanding for those who are more numerically minded - like my wife - for the mathematical systems we often take for granted.

It is highly informative and short enough to be easily utilized in the classroom setting."