The brainy new book by the bestselling author of Fermat’s Last Theorem. A must for anyone interested in mathematics, as well as for the millions of Simpsons fans worldwide.
You may have watched hundreds of episodes of The Simpsons (and its sister show, Futurama) without ever realizing that cleverly embedded in many plots are subtle references to mathematics, ranging from well-known equations to cutting-edge theorems and conjectures. That they exist, Simon Singh reveals, underscores the brilliance of the shows’ writers, many of whom have advanced degrees in mathematics in addition to their unparalleled senses of humour.
While recounting memorable episodes such as “Bart the Genius” and “Homer3”, Singh weaves in mathematical stories that explore everything from pi to Mersenne primes, from Euler’s equation to the unsolved riddle of P v. NP, from perfect numbers to narcissistic numbers, from infinity to even bigger infinities… and much more.
Along the way, Singh meets members of the brilliant writing team behind The Simpsons — among them David X. Cohen, Al Jean, Jeff Westbrook, and Mike Reiss — whose love of arcane mathematics becomes clear as they reveal the stories behind the episodes.
With wit and clarity, displaying a true fan’s zeal, and replete with images from the shows, photographs of the writers, and diagrams and proofs, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets offers an entirely new insight into the most successful show in television history.