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**Mathematics in Movies and Television Shows**

Elana Epstein, Ed.D. St. Joseph’s College

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**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

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**Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson**

Example 1: The Da Vinci Code Cryptography and Fibonacci Numbers

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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?

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**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

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**Uses Introduction to cryptography**

Introduction to the Fibonacci numbers Problem Solving

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**Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson**

Example 2: Monk Probability

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Summary Two victims have the same first and last names

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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?

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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?

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**Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson**

Example 3: Castaway Area of Circle

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

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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

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**Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson**

Example 4: Futurama Number Theory

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

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

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**Uses Have students try to come up with these kind of numbers**

As extra credit have students watch episodes and look for these numbers

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**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

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

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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.

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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?

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**Using Movies and TV Shows to Motivate a Lesson**

Example 6: Matilda Mental Math

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**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

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**Using Movies and TV Shows as the Lesson**

Example 1: Die Hard: With A Vengeance Problem Solving

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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?

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

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**Using movies and TV Shows to Reinforce an Idea**

Example 1: The Da Vinci Code Probability

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

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**Uses Have them do calculations to show how she got this answer:**

26x26x26x26x26 = 11,881,376 Then give similar problems

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**Using movies and TV Shows to Reinforce an Idea**

Example 2: 30 Rock Transitivity

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

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**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

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**Ideas in Other Media- Books**

Example 1: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Problem Solving

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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

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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

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**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

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**Uses Chapters labeled with prime numbers**

Main character studying for math exam What to do when you get lost

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**Other book ideas Math in literature**

terature/mathlitles.htm bankmathandliterature.html

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**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

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**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

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**For More Info. Visit: faculty.sjcny.edu/~epstein/NCTM**

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