- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (10 Oct. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408835304
- ISBN-13: 978-1408835302
- Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.5 x 23.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets Hardcover – 10 Oct 2013
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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)
From bestselling author of Fermat's Last Theorem, a must-have for number lovers and Simpsons fansSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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!
For instance, Simon often illustrates the maths backgrounds of individual writers, and yet he doesn't offer much about his experience in meeting them and fails to give us an idea of their personalities and how they interact with each other. Instead all the reader is left with is a dull summary of their academic credentials.
No real insight is given into the writing process behind The Simpsons and although I recognised many of the scenes and jokes from the TV show, their descriptions often seem cold and very clinical.
I realise that this was always going to be a much lighter book than Singh's other works, but I doubt I'll pick it up again.
Each chapter takes a different mathematical theme and talks about the Simpson's episodes that refer to it. Later chapters include other shows by the same writers.
You don't need a maths degree or even an A level to enjoy this book (I have neither), you just need to be interested in mathematical ideas and puzzles.
Probably suits anyone like that from around 14 years old and upwards.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought for my son who's study maths at university but I don't think he really looked at it, maybe he found it boring :-(Published 6 months ago by K
This interesting little non-fiction book has caused something of a stir here in High Wycombe, because Simon Singh and his associates have appeared to speak at a couple of events. Read morePublished 6 months ago by SocialBookshelves.com
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