Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:23 pm    Post subject: Springfield Theory

Science News Online
Week of June 10, 2006; Vol. 169, No. 23

Springfield Theory
Mathematical references abound on The Simpsons

Erica Klarreich

In the 1995 Halloween episode of the award-winning animated sitcom The Simpsons, two-dimensional Homer Simpson accidentally jumps into the third dimension. During his journey in this strange world, geometric solids and mathematical formulas float through the air, including an innocent-looking equation: 178212 + 184112 = 192212. Most viewers surely ignored this bit of mathematical gobbledygook.

For the full article and additional links:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:41 pm    Post subject: (Math) Math Meets the Simpsons

Math Meets the Simpsons

Over many years, the popular animated TV series The Simpsons has included numerous references to mathematics and even featured a mathematician as a character on the show. This Web site provides an episode-by-episode listing of references to math in The Simpsons, compiled by mathematicians Sarah J. Greenwald of Appalachian State University and Andrew Nestler of Santa Monica College. The site also offers entertaining classroom math activity sheets, many inspired by Simpsons references, on topics ranging from pi and the Pythagorean theorem to calculus and probability.

The Simpsons has established itself as an award-winning international pop culture phenomenon. It is the longest-running sitcom of all time and it is also one of the most literate television programs on the air, containing many references to subject matter and scholars from various academic fields, including mathematics. Since The Simpsons has been airing in prime-time for most of our students' lives, they likely are familiar with the program and its large cast of characters, including a resident mathematician. The Simpsons also contains over a hundred instances of mathematics ranging from arithmetic to geometry to calculus, many designed to expose and poke fun at innumeracy. In fact, Al Jean, Executive Producer and head writer, has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University. Several episodes of The Simpsons contain significant mathematics that relates to material we normally cover in our classes. For these reasons, this program is an ideal source of fun ways to introduce important concepts to students, and to reduce math anxiety and motivate students in courses for non-majors.

Dr. Sarah J. Greenwald, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Dr. Andrew Nestler, Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA

Go to:

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group