TV and Movie Math

Published on Thursday, May 10, 2007 in , , , , ,

Numb3rsJust how does our society think of mathematicians? One of the best ways to find out is to look at their portrayal in movies and TV.

The question is, just where do you find such portrayals? Oliver Knill's Mathematics and Movies page (Flash required) is an excellent place to start. It can be surprising how much math has appeared in your favorite movies and TV shows.

Once you realize the quantity of math out in popular media, how is the quality? Just because you hear the Pythagorean theorem stated doesn't mean that time was put into researching it. Thankfully, Alex Kasman comes to the rescue with his Mathematical Fiction page, in which the stories are rated not only for the quality of the story, but the accuracy of the mathematical principles, as well.

Of course, some shows have already established their reputation for mathematical accuracy among their fans. Numb3rs quickly comes to mind. Futurama and the Simpsons (surprised?) are also great sources of high quality mathematical principles, and even mathematical humor! As noted on Bender Bending Rodriguez' Mathematical Curiosities page, even jokes in the background of Futurama are well researched.

If you like math humor like this, you'll be see more like this when new Futurama episodes arrive in 2008!

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