# Mathematics in Movies and Television Shows

## Presentation on theme: "Mathematics in Movies and Television Shows"— Presentation transcript:

Mathematics in Movies and Television Shows
Elana Epstein, Ed.D. St. Joseph’s College

Outline Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson
Using Movies and TV Shows as the Lesson Using movies and TV Shows to Reinforce an Idea Ideas in Other Media

Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson
Example 1: The Da Vinci Code Cryptography and Fibonacci Numbers

Summary Robert Langdon asked by French police to look at crime scene where curator of the Lourve died There is a secret message written: 13 – 3 – 2 – 21 – 1 – 1 – 8 – 5 O, Draconian devil! Oh, lame saint! Recognize these numbers?

Summary Cont. Numbers are Fibonacci numbers out of order
13 – 3 – 2 – 21 – 1 – 1 – 8 – 5 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 21 Rearrange words O, Draconian devil! Oh, lame saint! Leonardo Da Vinci the Mona Lisa

Uses Introduction to cryptography
Introduction to the Fibonacci numbers Problem Solving

Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson
Example 2: Monk Probability

Summary Two victims have the same first and last names

Uses How likely is this coincidence? Lead to discussion of the birthday problem: How many people are required in order to have a better than even chance that two or more of them have the same birthday?

Or to The Monty Hall problem: On a game show there are three doors Behind one is a car, the others have goats You pick a door and the host, who know what's behind the doors, opens another door which has a goat Should you switch?

Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson
Example 3: Castaway Area of Circle

Summary Chuck tries to figure out how many miles people would have to search to rescue him Search Area

Uses Have students figure out what formula he used to find the area and then go through the usual area problems Motivation to find out what pi is

Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson
Example 4: Futurama Number Theory

Summary A number was needed for scene in Futurama Writers chose 1729: = =

Futurama Weisstein, Eric W. “1729." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource.

Uses Have students try to come up with these kind of numbers
As extra credit have students watch episodes and look for these numbers

Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson
Example 5: Death and the Compass Problem Solving Based on the short story by Jorge Luis Borges

Death and the Compass Three murders occur in equilateral triangle Inspector predicts fourth to form a rhombus

CAN YOU STOP THE CRIME? The police squad in Upstate New York is stumped, so you are called in as a math special agent. So far there have been two murders, and the killer left notes at each location implying there will be a third and final murder. Your job is to figure out where the crime will occur so the police can get to the scene and stop it from happening. This is a map of the first two crimes.

CAN YOU STOP THE CRIME? At the first crime the following clue was found: Unlike its salmon When I cross and climb Bear Mountain My bridges will be burned For I will not return. There will be three dead by the 3rd night. Say what you will, I am always RIGHT. And on the second night this clue was found: The north better be armed For the third time won’t be a charm. My crime spree will be terminated Thirty degrees northwest of where I originated. Can you help the police figure out where the third crime will be?

Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson
Example 6: Matilda Mental Math

Uses Matilda can add and multiply numbers in her head really fast
Have students think about how she was able to do this Teach tricks such as: To find 1784 x 11 First do 1784 x 10 = 17840 Then sum = 19624

Using Movies and TV Shows as the Lesson
Example 1: Die Hard: With A Vengeance Problem Solving

Summary Main characters go on a hunt to capture a criminal and have to solve riddles As I was going to St Ives I met a man with seven wives And every wife had seven sacks And every sack had seven cats And every cat had seven kits Kits, cats, sacks, wives How many were going to St Ives?

Die Hard Here’s another riddle: Given 5 gallon and 3 gallon jugs make exactly 4 gallons of water

Using movies and TV Shows to Reinforce an Idea
Example 1: The Da Vinci Code Probability

The Da Vinci Code Sophie describes how many combinations are on a cryptex

Uses Have them do calculations to show how she got this answer:
26x26x26x26x26 = 11,881,376 Then give similar problems

Using movies and TV Shows to Reinforce an Idea
Example 2: 30 Rock Transitivity

30 Rock Tracy discovers Grizz can beat Kenneth at Halo and uses the transitive property

Links to Related Pages Numb3rs http://www.weallusematheveryday.com
Simpsons Math math Futurama Math Math in the Movies Math Textbook uct/0,3110, ,00.html

Ideas in Other Media- Books
Example 1: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Problem Solving

Summary Harry and Hermione have to solve a riddle involving seven bottles The chosen bottle either moves them forward, behind, contains wine, or kills them Hermione uses logic to solve the puzzle

Uses Have students work in pairs Each student draws a picture of the seven bottles and their partner uses the picture along with the given clues to solve the riddle

Ideas in Other Media- Books
Example 2: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon Prime numbers and Problem Solving

Uses Chapters labeled with prime numbers
Main character studying for math exam What to do when you get lost

Other book ideas Math in literature
terature/mathlitles.htm bankmathandliterature.html

Ideas in Other Media- Songs
U+ Me = Us 2gether 4 out of 5 Soul Coughing Mathematics Mos Def (Lord It's Hard to Be Happy When You're Not) Using the Metric System Atom and His Package

Ideas in Other Media- Poems
Euclid Alone Has Looked on Beauty Bare By Edna St. Vincent Millay Compares mathematical insight to divine revelation Complete analysis: 604.html