The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

Book - 2013
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You may have watched hundreds of episodes of The Simpsons (and its sister show Futurama ) without ever realizing that cleverly embedded in many plots are subtle references to mathematics, ranging from well-known equations to cutting-edge theorems and conjectures. That they exist, Simon Singh reveals, underscores the brilliance of the shows' writers, many of whom have advanced degrees in mathematics in addition to their unparalleled sense of humor.
While recounting memorable episodes such as "Bart the Genius" and "Homer3," Singh weaves in mathematical stories that explore everything from p to Mersenne primes, Euler's equation to the unsolved riddle of P v. NP; from perfect numbers to narcissistic numbers, infinity to even bigger infinities, and much more. Along the way, Singh meets members of The Simpsons ' brilliant writing team-among them David X. Cohen, Al Jean, Jeff Westbrook, and Mike Reiss-whose love of arcane mathematics becomes clear as they reveal the stories behind the episodes.
With wit and clarity, displaying a true fan's zeal, and replete with images from the shows, photographs of the writers, and diagrams and proofs, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets offers an entirely new insight into the most successful show in television history.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2013, ©2013.
Edition: First U.S. Edition.
ISBN: 9781620402771
Characteristics: viii, 253 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.


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fishbb Sep 07, 2017

Our dear librarian Peter (who is kind of possessing a very dark nerdy side...I am just kidding) suggested this masterpiece to me, and for that I thank him infinitely, or does it make a difference if I say I thank him infinitely raised to the power of infinity? You will find out the answer if you read this book, along with tons of real funny, intelligent math jokes hidden in or outside the Simpsons. I will share with you this one joke Peter enjoy most:"Why is it that the more accuracy you demand from an interpolation function, the more expensive it becomes to compute? The answer, my friend, is the law of spline demand." I enjoyed every line of the book I read so far, and caught up with many different types of math concepts and anecdotes. For example, do you know the only research paper Bill Gates ever published is about flipping pancakes? It is a tough one and the upgraded version is the burnt pancake problem. Just read the book to find out more, I guarantee you will not disappointed if you also have a dark nerdy side.

biblioanna Feb 24, 2017

Not just a summary of math in The Simpsons, but a great history of the writing process of the show and a history of the social aspects of math in comedy.

Jun 02, 2015

I'll be honest: I was doubting this would be a good book. I read some really...average math book recently, and while I was an enormous fan of the Simpsons when I was younger, I haven't watched an episode in over two years.

However, Simon Singh is an amazing scientific speaker. He hooks you from the first chapter, in a mash of Simpsons history, math history and (most importantly) pointing out and explaining a lot of easter eggs hidden in the Simpsons and Futurama. He covers many subjects, from Fermat's theorem to sabermetrics. This is also one of the few books where I enjoyed reading the appendixes, as they truly brought a complement to the text. Anyone who say they hate math should read this tome.

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