the most mathematically sophisticated television show ever?

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PostTue Sep 24, 2013 5:25 am » by Noentry


The Simpsons' secret formula: it's written by maths geeks

When one of Britain's best-known science writers went to Los Angeles to meet the show's writers for a new book, he found a team dedicated to inserting gags about complex maths problems. And you thought it was just a cartoon…

Without doubt, the most mathematically sophisticated television show in the history of primetime broadcasting is The Simpsons. This is not a figment of my deranged mind, which admittedly is obsessed with both The Simpsons and mathematics, but rather it is a concrete claim backed up in a series of remarkable episodes

The first proper episode of the series in 1989 contained numerous mathematical references (including a joke about calculus), while the infamous "Treehouse of Horror VI" episode presents the most intense five minutes of mathematics ever broadcast to a mass audience. Moreover, The Simpsons has even offered viewers an obscure joke about Fermat's last theorem, the most notorious equation in the history of mathematics.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg, because the show's writing team includes several mathematical heavyweights. Al Jean, who worked on the first series and is now executive producer, went to Harvard University to study mathematics at the age of just 16. Others have similarly impressive degrees in maths, a few can even boast PhDs, and Jeff Westbrook resigned from a senior research post at Yale University to write scripts for Homer, Marge and the other residents of Springfield. ... imon-singh
"The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.
The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.
The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."
A. A. Milne

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PostTue Sep 24, 2013 4:08 pm » by The57ironman

. can educate the ignorant...but there's no fk'n helping the stupid.


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