Segments in this Video

Probability (05:56)


Lily Serna uses math to find the best of 17 surfing beaches. She illustrates the equation supporting Optimal Stopping. Serna finds ideal conditions at the thirteenth location.

Math Magic (04:20)

Serna asks fair-goers to choose a number between one and ten, apply a series of operations, and imagine an animal alphabetically corresponding to the result. She accurately predicts choices, explaining that any digit multiplied by nine results in a number whose digits add up to nine.

Winning Zero Sum Competitions (03:45)

Serna teaches friends how to apply John Nash’s Game Theory to win at Rock, Paper, Scissors. Winners repeat their plays, while losers change their choices; she consistently predicts opponent’s moves.

Algorithms: Directional Challenge (06:38)

Serna creates an orienteering course, giving three teams navigational maps based on formulas or human intuition. The Optimal Algorithm group should finish first; their map mathematically plots fastest routes, but does not include terrain or obstacles.

Algorithms: Employee Optimization (04:13)

Serna tours the E-Store Logistics distribution center; warehouse workers receive automated instructions formulated for efficiency. All workers’ movements and decisions are made by computer.

Algorithms: Cognitive Collection (04:44)

Couture designer Jason Grech predicts fashion trends with a formula created by IBM. The Watson computer converts photos of inspirational subjects into dress patterns.

Algorithms: Directional Challenge Results (04:13)

The orienteering course represents the Traveling Salesman Problem. The team using the Nearest Neighbor formula wins the challenge; the Human Intuition players reach the fewest checkpoints.

Queuing Theory (04:20)

Serna goes grocery shopping, illustrating how to pick the fastest moving line; each customer spends 40 seconds interacting with clerks. Serna explains right side bias commonality and demonstrates the most efficient check-out system.

Monty Hall Dilemma (09:20)

Serna stages a game with a prize in one of three boxes. Participants guess which box has the prize, view a dud, and receive the option of changing their choice. Conditional Probability states chances of winning will double if they change.

Predicting Weather (06:13)

Serna enlists a pool champion to illustrate chaos theory. Sydney’s Bureau of Meteorology uses the chaos theory, human experience, and algorithms formulated from global data to anticipate weather systems.

Applying Logic (02:22)

Serna defines intelligence as the ability to adapt to change. She asserts that pattern recognition is hardwired in humans, allowing us to make predictions and informed decisions. See a trailer for the next episode.

Copyright: The Secret to Making Better Decisions (00:08)

Copyright: The Secret to Making Better Decisions

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The Secret to Making Better Decisions

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



From the science of making choices, to the solving power of algorithms, mathematician Lily Serna reveals how the logic of mathematics can help you make better, smarter decisions. In the process, she steps us through some of its most important ideas, showing that far from being stuck on a chalkboard in a lecture hall, it's all incredibly useful.

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: BVL188137

ISBN: 978-1-64623-449-3

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.