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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good.
Although I have not been a Simpsons fan, watched not more than half a dozen, I found this book a really good read. It is not so much about the programme, but about the mathematics and mathematicians involved. If you don't feel the beauty of mathematics, then it won't be for you. If you do, then it will be very enjoyable.
Published 17 months ago by GreyFod

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Runs out of steam
I like Simon Singh. I love Maths. I love The Simpsons.
For a while, this is an interesting and engaging idea, but sadly he just didn't have enough material for a whole book. I don't mind that Singh branches off into Futurama - it's from the same stable, that's fair enough, but I do mind the repetition. You know those TV programs (usually reality or makeover shows)...
Published 12 months ago by GVI Gary


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Runs out of steam, 18 May 2014
By 
GVI Gary (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
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I like Simon Singh. I love Maths. I love The Simpsons.
For a while, this is an interesting and engaging idea, but sadly he just didn't have enough material for a whole book. I don't mind that Singh branches off into Futurama - it's from the same stable, that's fair enough, but I do mind the repetition. You know those TV programs (usually reality or makeover shows) where they start off by showing you clips of what they're about to so, then about every 10 minutes they show you what they've just done. or what's coming up? It's a bit like that.
There's good stuff here, but stretched too thin, and it starts to grate.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good., 7 Dec. 2013
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Although I have not been a Simpsons fan, watched not more than half a dozen, I found this book a really good read. It is not so much about the programme, but about the mathematics and mathematicians involved. If you don't feel the beauty of mathematics, then it won't be for you. If you do, then it will be very enjoyable.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HOMER'S SECRET MATHS, 13 Oct. 2013
By 
Jet Lagged - See all my reviews
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This is Simon Singh's latest book. Previous offerings include "Fermat's Last Theorem" and "The Code Book".

Many may be quite surprised to discover that there lies embedded in The Simpsons cartoon series a chunk-full of mathematics. What is not generally known is that several of the writers on The Simpsons are in fact respectable mathematicians. These writers have been, covertly or otherwise, smuggling maths into the episodes since the very beginning of the series. It's all been part of the fun. It doesn't interfere with the plot but it is mathematically amusing.

Now somebody, author Simon Singh, has spilt the beans. Singh took the trouble of going to L.A. to meet with the show's writers for this, his latest book. He found a writing team dedicated to inserting funny mathematical gags in the Simpsons' episodes. He then joined all the dots of this phenomenon and put it all together here for the reader.

Typically, he takes an episode of the Simpsons and locates any maths in it. Then he fleshes it out by giving the background to the maths mentioned therein. And he talks about the specific writers who came up with the idea. And what their mathematical interests are.

He also writes about the Futurama series. The same writers who have worked on The Simpsons have also worked on its sister series too.

Two mathematical examples will suffice:-

1. As early as the second episode of the first season, "Bart the Genius", a mathematical joke is featured involving the derivative of (y^3 )/3, where the "^" symbol stands for "to the power of" (You will have to get in touch with your inner geek to fully appreciate the joke.) Also in this episode Maggie amusingly makes E=Mc^2 with her pile of play bricks.

2. In another episode the screen at the baseball game gives 3 different numbers for the attendance figure. These numbers just happen to be 8191, 8128, 8208. These numbers are certainly not random.

8191 is a Mersenne prime.

And 8128 is a Perfect number. (It is in fact the fourth perfect number. The preceding three are 6, 28 and 496). A Perfect number is a number whose divisors' sum equals the number itself.

For example, 6 has three divisors 1, 2 and 3. (We don't count 6, the actual number itself, as a divisor).
And 1+ 2+ 3 = 6. The next Perfect number, 28, has the divisors 1,2,4,7, and 14. Similarly 1+ 2 + 4 + 7 + 14 = 28

Perfect numbers are quite rare - so 8128's appearance tells you something is afoot. (The next, fifth, Perfect number is eight digits long).

And the third number on the big board is 8208 - what is called a narcissistic number.

There are four digits in it - 8, 2, 0 and 8.

And 8^4 + 2^4 + 0^4 + 8^4 = 4096 + 16 + 0 + 4096 = 8208.

(Again, I'm using "^" for "to the power of". Example 8^4 = 8x8x8x8 ).

The number seems to be self absorbed or in love with itself. Hence the term "narcissistic number" is applied to it.

I would guess that the odds of these three numbers appearing together like this, at random, would be approximately nil.

So the next time you see Homer doing something at a blackboard, other than drinking Duff beer, pay attention!

Amazon Update 6th November 2013:-

One thing bothered Singh however. He could not figure out the significance of the number of the Simpson's house:- 742, Evergreen Terrace. What was the big deal with the number 742? When he finally asked the creators of its significance, they told him "Simon, it's just a number!"

But I respectfully disagree. Perhaps it is a mathematical Freudian slip, but 742 reversed is 247. And we all know that "24/7" (spoken as "twenty four seven") is an abbreviation which stands for "24 hours a day, 7 days a week". With the popularity of the Simpsons series could the significance of 24/7 be more obvious? There is always an episode of the Simpsons on somewhere, morning, noon or night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He absolutely loved it. I read it after him and found ..., 30 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets (Paperback)
Bought this for my boyfriend who is a mathematician and Simpson's fan. He absolutely loved it. I read it after him and found it very interesting too so it's not just for maths buffs! Very entertaining and accessible.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 24 Feb. 2014
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Brilliantly written and a must-have for any Simpsons fan! Easy to dip in and out of and it really gives you an insight into the fascinating world of Maths. Some really funny jokes and some really interesting facts. The stuff about infinity is especially interesting!

Great for all ages! My Son is especially enjoying it as he is studying A-Level Maths and a lot of it he is learning in Maths. He says it's great! 100% recommended!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book, 10 July 2014
By 
K. Singh (Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
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The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh
Until I read this book I was unaware of the sprinkling of mathematics in the Simpsons.
The book discusses the mathematicians on the writing teams of the Simpsons and Futurama. I must say that I was surprised to learn that most of the writers on these programmes are graduates or postgraduates of mathematics or physics.
It is an excellent book for a layman as all the mathematics is explained in detailed.
My reservation is that the book is a series of detached mathematical stories whose only common theme is that these stories appeared in the Simpsons or Futurama. Also these mathematical stories are so common that if you have read any mathematical popular book you would have come across them. So nothing new here.
However I do think any serious mathematics student should purchase this book as it provides good motivation to study mathematics at undergraduate level.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simon Singh should be knighted - as one of Britain's greatest science writers and educator in logic thinking and rationality., 20 May 2015
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All books by Simon Singh are superb and this is no exception. Witty, informative and well written, a hugely enjoyable book. Singh should be regarded as a national treasure for the ceaseless work he does in debunking myths and exposing charlatans (eg. chiropractors) at huge personal risk and cost, and the only way we can support him is by buying his books and speaking out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Can be brain twisting, 7 Feb. 2014
By 
Deepak (Wolves, UK) - See all my reviews
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The book is well written and, apart from explaining the maths, also gives insight into the authors of The Simpsons. I haven't been a Simpsons fan but I might take to watching them now. Whether I'll spot the clever maths references, well I doubt that as many appear to be at post-graduate level of maths. Simon Singh does explain the maths well (what the maths did in real life) but even then I found some difficult to understand. So, in some ways, a heavy read. Something I would read a chapter or two then read something lighter before returning to it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun book, 27 Jan. 2014
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Another well written book by Simon Singh. Fun, clearly written and well explained background to the jokes incorporated into the episodes. Well worth a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read., 26 Jan. 2014
By 
D. Thompson - See all my reviews
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I bought this for some light reading during a trip to darkest Finland, and finished it in 3 days; filled with humour and fascinating insights into the creative process behind the Simpsons, it also contained a huge and varied amount of quite challenging maths - who knew that there are different types of infinity, some of which are bigger than others!
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The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets
The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh (Paperback - 25 Sept. 2014)
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