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Wellington author sums up The Simpsons in latest book
12:00pm Monday 28th October 2013 in News
AN author from Wellington has been getting under the bonnet of one of the world’s most successful TV shows.
Simon Singh reveals how the writers of The Simpsons have been smuggling mathematics into America’s longest-running sitcom in his latest book.
He says the series contains enough mathematics to form a university course, making it secretly a useful learning resource.
Speaking about the launch of The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, Simon said: “I have always been a fan of The Simpsons and I have always been a fan of mathematics so once I realised that so many of the writers were mathematicians then I could not resist writing about it.
“The writers smuggle in lots of mathematical jokes and references into the show so this is a great opportunity to use pop culture to explore some really fascinating numbers and theorems.”
Born and brought up in Somerset, Simon attended Wellington School and went on to complete a PhD in physics at Cambridge University.
He authored Fermat’s Last Theorem – the first book about mathematics to become a number one bestseller in the UK – and has now returned to writing about numbers, although this time in relation to Homer, Marge and all the rest of the residents of Springfield.
During his research Simon managed to meet some of the show’s writers, and using specific episodes as jumping off points, he brings to life mathematical concepts.
Simon added: “The mathematics in the show ranges from simple recreational mathematics through to deep unsolved conjectures, such as the problem of P versus NP.
“The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets is aimed at an intelligent adult readership but I am confident that bright young teenagers will also enjoy the book.
“It is fun and easy to read but the book does not dodge the big issues in mathematics.”
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