The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

Paperback

By (author) Simon Singh

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 232mm x 24mm | 400g
  • Publication date: 10 October 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1408843730
  • ISBN 13: 9781408843734
  • Edition statement: Export/Airside ed
  • Illustrations note: 20 b/w throughout
  • Sales rank: 5,611

Product description

Some have seen philosophy embedded in episodes of The Simpsons; others have detected elements of psychology and religion. Simon Singh, bestselling author of Fermat's Last Theorem, The Code Book and The Big Bang, instead makes the compelling case that what The Simpsons' writers are most passionate about is mathematics. He reveals how the writers have drip-fed morsels of number theory into the series over the last twenty-five years; indeed, there are so many mathematical references in The Simpsons, and in its sister program, Futurama, that they could form the basis of an entire university course. Using specific episodes as jumping off points - from 'Bart the Genius' to 'Treehouse of Horror VI' - Simon Singh brings to life the most intriguing and meaningful mathematical concepts, ranging from pi and the paradox of infinity to the origins of numbers and the most profound outstanding problems that haunt today's generation of mathematicians. In the process, he introduces us to The Simpsons' brilliant writing team - the likes of Ken Keeler, Al Jean, Jeff Westbrook, and Stewart Burns - who are not only comedy geniuses, but who also hold advanced degrees in mathematics. This eye-opening book will give anyone who reads it an entirely new mathematical insight into the most successful show in television history.

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Author information

Simon Singh received his PhD in particle physics from the University of Cambridge. A former BBC producer and BAFTA Award-winning documentary director, he is the author of the bestselling Fermat's Last Theorem. His bestseller The Code Book was the basis for the Channel 4 series The Science of Secrecy and his third book, Big Bang, was also a bestseller. He lives in London.

Review quote

Singh blows the lid off a decades-long conspiracy to secretly educate cartoon viewers -- David X Cohen, writer for The Simpsons and Futurama An entertaining picture of the insanely high-minded nature of the Simpsons' writers Sunday Times Singh shows a knack for gliding seamlessly between abstract mathematical concepts and every day life, always seeking out the most engaging, human and topical examples. Singh's clean prose, detailed research and enthusiasm for the world of numbers are likely to captivate even those for whom maths normally creates feelings of anxiety rather than mirth The Times Impressive and illuminating ... this is a valuable, entertaining book Financial Times What have Homer and Bart got to do with Euler's equation, the googolplex or the topology of doughnuts? ... Simon Singh has fun weaving great mathematics stories around our favourite TV characters New Scientist Enlightening The Times Singh shows just how addictive maths can be BBC Focus Quite literally cosmic New York Times on BIG BANG Singh spins tales of cryptic intrigue in every chapter Wall Street Journal on THE CODE BOOK An excellent account of one of the most dramatic and moving events of the century New York Times Book Review on FERMAT'S LAST THEOREM