Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018

Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets!!!

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January 21, 2018


Two years back I came across an interview by Simon Singh about his book: Simpsons and its Mathematical secrets.

Simpsons is a hugely popular television series for the last almost twenty-five years.

What is interesting about this hugely popular television series is that the writers of these series (about 8 of them!!) have smuggled mathematical principles in the television series ranging from calculus, geometry, fermats theorem and so on… because all of them have a solid background in mathematics starting from undergraduate to Ph.D from Harvard and Princeton universities.

For instance, in one of the episodes of Simpsons a character tries to solve a maths equation and is almost there but still the solution eludes him despite his steps being almost correct. For a layman it is like a Just Missed SOLUTION!! Actually in maths it is called Fermats Last Theorem named after a great French Mathematician Fermat!!! BONJOUR!!!

In one of the episodes one character is accused of having a poor memory. To this he says that his memory is so good that he can calculate the value of Pi (3.1423) to the value of 40000 digits!!! Actually in 1993 the world record of calculating the value of a pi in a circle was to 40000 digits!! The serial Simpsons started around the year 1993. And interestingly calculating 40000 digits, the answer is 1 (one) so the value of Pi stands as 22/7 or 3.14 or approximately 3.1!!!

Similarly simple questions are disguised in episodes which explain calculating distances with the help of Pythagoras theorem. For example A moves 4km south and then turns left travelling another 3km. If it is a right angle, then his position from the starting point can be calculated as square of 4 + square of 3= ? which is actually the Pythagoras theorem.

It is interesting reading also available on internet!

Happy Reading!!

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