Strengths

Strengths

Covers many topics

Explains concepts in a way that is understandable, even for non-mathematicians

Shows that mathematics is relatable

Has humor and is easy to read

If kids are interested in The Simpsons, then you as a teacher can use this book to engage them

Has mathematical, historical, and pop-culture references

How it Relates to Education

Summary

The goal of the author, Simon Singh, is to prove to readers that the writers of

The

Simpsons

have incorporated many mathematical ideas and concepts into their episodes.

**Simon Singh**

**The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets**

Introducing

Charles

Lauren

Kelsey

An

astronomer

, a

physicist

, and a

mathematician

(it is said) were holidaying in

Scotland

. Glancing from a train window, they observed a

black sheep

in the middle of a field. "

How interesting,

" observed the

astronomer

, "

all Scottish sheep are black

!" To which the

physicist

responded, "

No, no!

Some

Scottish sheep are black

!" The

mathematician

gazed heavenward in supplication, and then intoned, "

In Scotland there exists at least one field, containing at least one sheep,

at least one side of which is black

.

"

Here's a joke...

Jokes are a fun way of engaging students and making what they are learning "fun."

If a student is interested in the Simpsons but struggles with math, this can be a way to engage him and capture their attention.

For students who know The Simpsons, putting the characters' names into story problems could help them visualize and answer the question better.

Young children might have trouble reading through the mathematics

Reading skill level may be to high for some younger students

Some parents may not approve of "The Simpsons" for their children to watch.

Singh explains that books have been written about how the underlying meaning of

The Simpsons

is philosophical, psychological, theological, and political. He argues that the fundamental core is actually mathematics. However, based on the information provided by the book, while we see how heavily math is incorporated into some episodes of

The Simpsons

, we do not agree that mathematics is the "primary subtext" of the entire show.

Weaknesses

Here's another joke...

Examination

Joke 1 Q: What did the number 0 say to the number 8? 2 points

A: Nice belt!

Joke 2 Knock, knock.

Who's there?

Prism.

Prism who

Prism is where convex go! 3 points

Joke 3 Q: What is the volume of a pizza of thickness a and radius z?

A: pi.z.z.a 3 points

Joke 4 If the Teletubbies are a product of time and money, then:

Teletubbies=Time x Money

But, Time=Money

Teletubbies=Money x Money

Money is the root of all evil

Teletubbies =Money

Money = square root(evil)

Money= Evil

Teletubbies=Evil 4 points

Joke 5 Q: How did the mathematician reply when he was asked how his pet parrot died

A: Polynomial. Polygon. 2 points

Joke 6 Q: Why do computer scientists get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?

A: Because Oct. 31=Dec.25

2 points

2

2

Fermat's Last Theorem

Topology

Infinity

Pythagorean Theorem

Rubber sheet geometry

According to the rules of topology, a circle is identical to a square

A is identical to R, but A is not identical to H

You can stretch and bend shapes as much as you would like, but you cannot cut or glue.

In the same episode, Homer draws a donut being transformed into a sphere. By the rules of topology, this is impossible.

Pi

Homer says, "The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side."

Although someone said in the clip that his equation is about right triangles instead of isosceles triangles, this character was incorrect (the book gives proofs).

As you can see, much of the mathematical humor that comes from this show consists of incorrect mathematical statements.

"...All these philosophers, psychologists, theologians, and politicians have missed the primary subtext of the world's favorite TV series. The truth is that many of the writers of The Simpsons are deeply in love with numbers, and their ultimate desire is to drip-feed morsels of mathematics into the subconscious minds of viewers. In other words, for more than two decades we have been tricked into watching an animated introduction to everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity" (Singh, pg. 6)

Episode: Bye Bye Nerdie

We know that pi is equal to 3.1415...

This book points out how saying that pi is equal to 3 can catch some peoples attention as shown in this episode.

Reference to Indiana Pi bill, introduced by Edwin G. Goodwin, which we learned about in class.

The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace (Episode 2 of Season 10) contains one of the most mathematical scenes in the Simpsons. The episode focuses on Homer, who has a midlife crisis, and becomes determined to become a famous inventor like Thomas Edison.

During one scene, we catch a glimpse of Homer's chalkboard.

Fermat's Last Theorem:

no three positive integers a, b, and c can satisfy the equation a^n + b^n = c^n

"Cuius rei demonstrationem mirabilem sane detexi hanc marginis exiguitas non caperet"

(I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain)

-Fermat

3987^12+4365^12=4472.0000000070576171875^12

Another math reference. This time using the infinity symbol to represent how Lisa has many possibilities.

Hilbert's Hotel is also referenced.

A duck walks into a drugstore and says, "I would like some chapstick please," and the druggist asks, "Will you be paying cash for that?" and the duck says, "No, put the chapstick on my bill."