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In their lively and entertaining weekly discussion of issues related to higher education, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore the topics of higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. Ed and Jennifer practice what they preach, too, by introducing math puzzlers and brain teasers to keep listeners on their toes.

Higher Ed: The Meaning and Nuance of Numbers

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From pre-K and all the way through graduate studies in math, we learn about numbers. But think about it - what is a number, really? What does the concept of  "four" or a "million" of something actually mean? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger try to define what numbers really are and how we make meaning of them. It's tougher than you might first think. Listen on to hear their attempt!

This week, Ed and Jennifer talk about a subject that we think we understand - numbers. But if you think about it, the concept of a number is pretty nuanced. We'll hear some stories about first graders' take on the meaning of numbers. And humans aren't the only species that use the concept of numbers. Ever heard of the "limit of four?" Listen on to find out what it means and what is tells us about how humans and other species make meaning and learn. There's no new math puzzler this week; consider this whole episode one big brain teaser!

This episode was taped on March 25, 2015.

Jennifer Stayton is the local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" on KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on X @jenstayton.