Mathemagician Persi Diaconis
Show for July 20, 2014
When he was 14, Persi Diaconis ran away from home to become one of the world’s great magicians. Now he’s a world-class mathematician, and his two professions have more in common than you might think.
Persi and I had a very entertaining conversation about his careers in show biz and academe, covering topics such as:
- His friendships with other magicians, including Ricky Jay, Randi and Dai Vernon
- Some surprisingly profound mathematical card tricks
- Why science needs statisticians
- Duping others and being duped himself
- Why he’s so secretive
Click the play arrow above to hear the interview, or the download icon on the upper right to get your own mp3.
Persi’s well-known as an inventor of original tricks and sometimes helps other performers come up with new routines. For instance, he had a hand in this classic bit from Steve Martin: