27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HOMER'S SECRET MATHS
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...
Published 10 months ago by Jet Lagged
3.0 out of 5 stars A fairly standard maths popularisation book.
A collision of the genres `books which explain something by reference to The Simpsons' and `"wow, isn't maths great!" for people who dropped maths at school'. As such, it works well enough but doesn't have a lot to distinguish it from the dozens of other such books on the market.
The best bits are the end of chapter `tests' in which Singh has complied...
Published 2 months ago by Mr Nobody
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read for Mathematicians,
I bought this as a present for a mathematician who found it an entertaining read and would recommend it to others..
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun maths,
Interesting exploration of some areas of maths hinted at in the Simpsons and Futurama. And a lot about the Simpsons writers themselves.
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon Singh has done it again.. Brilliant,
I've enjoyed Simon Singh's previous works (Science of Secrecy, Fermat's last Theorem, Code Book) but this was a step above. The book presents another, less obvious and subtly brilliant side to the Simpsons and their creators which would otherwise go unnoticed outside of the Scientific/Mathematical/Geek community.
You don't need to be a brainiac to enjoy this book, there are plenty of Geek tests in there (such as a series of Jokes which can measure your Geekiness based on the amount you laugh).
Like his other works, I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for something different (be it you want to learn more about the Simpsons, have an interest in Mathematics or just fancy taking the Geek Tests).
2.0 out of 5 stars A drop in form for Simon SIngh,
I love maths, I like the Simpsons and I'm a big fan of Simon Singh's previous work. However this book is poor. There isn't enough material for a book one third the length. It feels contrived and stretched. It's a book which probably sounded like a great idea, but which unfortunately didn't work out in practice. Come on Simon, you're better than this!
5.0 out of 5 stars Present,
Bought this after listening to a review on Radio 4 for a guy who doesn't read for pleasure. He's a maths graduate and loves the challenges the book poses. He's found it very thought provoking and it has rekindled his interest in seeking solutions to mathematical problems.
5.0 out of 5 stars come for the maths. stay for the anecdotes,
A good read that is full of anecdotes about the Simpsons (and Futurama)in General and and maths in particular. The maths may get tricky in places for the layperson but it is not too heavy and the author is careful not to let the maths slow down the pace of the book.
Well worth a read for both maths and Simpsons geeks
5.0 out of 5 stars Interest provoking book,
I greatly enjoyed Format's last theorem so was eager to read more by the same author. This was almost as good -I might even watch the Simpsons now!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!,
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!
5.0 out of 5 stars How to make numbers fun,
I was never besotted with The Simpsons, but always saw the series as intelligent and informative. I wish I had watched it more after reading this book. In addition to discussions of actual mathematical concepts dropped into the episodes, there's quite a lot of digression into areas triggered by story lines, but that just adds to the book IMO.
4.0 out of 5 stars 28 + 8208 - 1749 = won't leave you pi eyed,
Having recently read Tammet's `Thinking in Numbers', I picked up this offering having a heightened interest in numbers but no particular penchant for The Simpsons or its spin off Futurama. I completed it with an enhanced appreciation of number and a great deal of respect for the writers of the afore mentioned animations.
Singh's love of numbers pervades this well researched book and his explanatory powers make even difficult mathematical concepts accessible to the lay reader educated to GCE or GCSE mathematics level. Challenging concepts such as infinity are tamed through the use of metaphor eg `Hilbert's Hotel' and the notion of polynomial v nondeterministic polynomial problems is lucidly explained with reference to only multiplication and division.
The author effectively combines humour and popular cultural references to further disarm the reader of any deep seated unease about numbers. Mention of particular Simpsons' episodes is used to distract any uncomfortable reader like the dentist's ceiling beach scene. He peppers his writing with humour including a four part humour examination and includes an interesting discussion on the mechanics of humour from the perspective of the mathematical versus the literary mind.
References to `The Wizard of Oz', six degrees of separation, Google, Bill Gates, George W Bush and the use of `sabermetrics' in baseball and football further draw a link between maths and the real world. Indeed appendix 1 even prompted me to write to the press offering advice to the manager of my local Premier League team who has had difficulties with red cards recently.
Subjects successfully given the above treatment include: Fermat's last theorem, Euler's Equation, exponential growth, fractals and topology. I was left with a surprising understanding of the maths but also with an appreciation of how the creators of the world's most popular animation have also used it as a vehicle to satirize politicians and further the role of females in maths.
Singh convinces us that every number is special be it: `narcissitic', `perfect,' `sublime', a' Mersenne Prime' or a `taxicab number' He certainly gives the superstitious more to think about when selecting lottery numbers or eyeing flight numbers!
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