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3B1B Logo.svg
The channel name and logo reference the color of Grant's right eye, which has blue-brown sectoral heterochromia.[1] It also symbolizes the channel's visual approach to math.[2]
Personal information
BornGrant Sanderson
YouTube information
Years active5
GenreMathematics, Education
Subscribers3.72 million[3]
(June 2, 2021)
Total views199 million[3]
(June 2, 2021)
Associated actsMinutePhysics, Numberphile, Smarter Every Day
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2016[4]
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2018[4][5]

Updated: February 8, 2021

3Blue1Brown is a math YouTube channel created by Grant Sanderson. The channel focuses on teaching higher mathematics from a visual perspective, and on the process of discovery and inquiry-based learning in mathematics, which Sanderson calls "inventing math". Topics covered include linear algebra, calculus, artificial neural networks, the Riemann hypothesis, the Fourier transform, quaternions and topology. As of June 2, 2021, the channel has 3.72 million subscribers.


Sanderson graduated from Stanford University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in math. He worked for Khan Academy from 2015 to 2016 as part of their content fellowship program, producing videos and articles about multivariable calculus, after which he started focusing his full attention on 3Blue1Brown.[6]

3Blue1Brown started as a personal programming project in early 2015. In a podcast of Showmakers, Sanderson explained that he wanted to practice his coding skills and decided to make a graphics library in Python, which eventually became the open-source project "Manim" (short for Mathematical Animation Engine).[7] To have a goal for the project, he decided to create a video with the library and upload it to YouTube. On March 4, 2015, he uploaded his first video. He started to publish more videos and improve the graphics tool.[8]

In 2020, Grant Sanderson became one of the creators and lecturers of the MIT course Introduction to Computational Thinking, together with Alan Edelman, David Sanders, James Schloss, and Benoit Forget.[9] The course uses the Julia programming language and Grant Sanderson's animations to explain various topics: convolutions, image processing, COVID-19 data visualization, epidemic modelling, ray tracing, introduction to climate modelling, ocean modelling, and the algorithms that lie behind these topics.


3Blue1Brown videos are themed around visualizing math, including pure math such as number theory and topology as well as more applied topics in computer science and physics. The visuals are predominantly generated by Manim, a Python animation library written by Sanderson, though occasionally visuals are drawn from other software such as macOS's Grapher application.[2] The channel includes several series on topics including linear algebra, calculus, differential equations, and neural networks.[10] During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the channel also featured a series of live-streamed lectures under the name "Lockdown Math" aimed at students learning from home.[11]

Sanderson also usually presents each video lesson using the format of inquiry-based learning. Videos generally start with some problem, puzzle, or question, which the viewer is then led to "pause and ponder" frequently and which Sanderson's narrative style leads the viewer to "invent math" on their own as a means of better connecting with the concepts being taught.[citation needed]

The channel has collaborated with several other educational YouTube channels, including videos with MinutePhysics on quantum physics and orbital motion.[12][13] as well as projects with Numberphile, Smarter Every Day, Physics Girl, and Stand-up Maths.[14] The channel's videos have been featured in Popular Mechanics, ABC News, and Quanta Magazine.[15]

Sanderson appeared on the podcasts of Numberphile, Lex Fridman, the Art of Problem Solving, Siraj Raval, and Showmakers.[16] Sanderson briefly hosted his own podcast called "Ben, Ben and Blue" with Ben Stenhaug and YouTuber Ben Eater.[17]


In August 2019, Sanderson delivered a keynote titled Concrete before Abstract at ODSC India. The talk outlines a principle he attempts to follow to make mathematics accessible.[18][19]

In January 2020, Sanderson delivered a talk in An Evening with Grant Sanderson, hosted by the Stanford Speakers Bureau.[20] Sanderson offered his perspective on engaging with math: instead of prioritizing usefulness, he emphasizes emotion, wonder and imagination. He aims to “bring life to math” with visuals, graphics, and animations.[21]

"When people engage with fiction, no one ever asks, 'When am I going to use this?' [...] The same thing fiction can do for people, so can math. There's wonder and mystery—and once there's a story, you can go behind the mechanics."

Sanderson delivered a TEDx talk titled What Makes People Engage With Math on February 9, 2020. A 20-minute video of the talk was uploaded to YouTube on Pi Day of the same year.[22]


  1. ^ Grant Sanderson (B.S. '15), retrieved 2020-02-07
  2. ^ a b "FAQ/Contact". 3Blue1Brown. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  3. ^ a b "About 3Blue1Brown". YouTube.
  4. ^ a b "3Blue1Brown Monthly YouTube Statistics - Socialblade.com". socialblade.com. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  5. ^ "Grant Sanderson on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  6. ^ "About the author". Archived from the original on 2020-05-26. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  7. ^ "Manim source code". Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  8. ^ "Grant Sanderson - 3Blue1Brown - Math Education & Programming Animation Software". Showmaker's. Jan 12, 2018. Archived from the original on 2019-07-12. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  9. ^ "MIT 18.S191 Introduction to Computational Thinking Welcome".
  10. ^ "3Blue1Brown Series". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  11. ^ "Lockdown math - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  12. ^ 3Blue1Brown (2017-09-13), Some light quantum mechanics (with minutephysics), retrieved 2018-09-01
  13. ^ MinutePhysics (2018-07-20), Feynman's Lost Lecture (ft. 3Blue1Brown), retrieved 2018-09-01
  14. ^ Examples of video collaborations:
  15. ^ Examples of press coverage:
  16. ^ List of podcast appearances:
  17. ^ Ben, Ben and Blue, Ben, Ben and Blue, retrieved 2020-02-07
  18. ^ Concrete before Abstract - ODSC India 2019, retrieved 2020-02-07
  19. ^ Open Data Science Conference India – The Largest Applied Data Science and AI Conference returns to India, retrieved 2020-02-07
  20. ^ Wei, Patricia, 3Blue1Brown creator Grant Sanderson ’15 talks engaging with math using stories and visuals
  21. ^ Kapadia, Huzefa, EP 159: 3Blue1Brown on How to Show the Natural Beauty of Mathematics
  22. ^ Sanderson, Grant, What Makes People Engage With Math, retrieved 2020-07-29

External links[edit]