I apologize if this is off topic.

I think most of his listeners would agree with me that Gian-Carlo Rota had a wonderful style of lecture delivery. I have heard him lecture, both as an undergraduate lecturer and a technical colloquium speaker.

My efforts to find any video recordings of Rota delivering a mathematical lecture have failed. Thus my question, does anyone know of any such videos? MIT Archives might have some, possibly, but I am not based in North America so contacting them has proved to be difficult.

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    $\begingroup$ I would ask Joseph Kung as he is a former student of Rota’s and has an interest in Rota’s history legacy and legacy. $\endgroup$ Mar 17, 2019 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ @GordonRoyle, thanks for your suggestion, I have just managed to find Prof Kung's e-mail and e-mailed him. $\endgroup$
    – kodlu
    Mar 18, 2019 at 5:01
  • $\begingroup$ Joseph Kung has replied as follows: "The only video of Rota I know is a lecture on matching theory, I think it was from the Mathematical Association of America, but it seems to be no longer available. As for MIT videos, I would suggest contacting the math department there directly." I will contact the MIT Mathematics Department and update when I hear from them. $\endgroup$
    – kodlu
    Mar 18, 2019 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


Here is an Introduction to Geometric Probability by Rota --- sold by the AMS for quite a hefty sum.

This transcript of a 1997 lecture might convey some of the flavor without the expense. And here is one more transcript, also from 1997.

It would indeed be delightful to hear more from someone who can say things as memorable as:
We often hear that mathematics consists mainly of "proving theorems". Is a writer's job mainly that of "writing sentences?"

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    $\begingroup$ Can you buy the video? The link only appears to be for the transcript. $\endgroup$ Mar 17, 2019 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ It might be a video recording. The Mathematical Reviews quoted there says: Since this remarkable member of the mathematical community died on April 19, 1999, we are fortunate to have a visual record of his lecture. Arthur Jaffe's introductory remarks, not found in the printed article, give a summary of Rota's many accomplishments. -- Mathematical Reviews $\endgroup$
    – kodlu
    Mar 18, 2019 at 5:03
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    $\begingroup$ And there is a dvd version for $25.00 $\endgroup$
    – kodlu
    Mar 18, 2019 at 5:07
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ DVD version is here: bookstore.ams.org/dvd-102 $\endgroup$ Mar 18, 2019 at 6:37

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