Mathematics in Popular Culture: Essays on Appearances in Film, Fiction, Games, Television and Other Media

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Jessica K. Sklar, Elizabeth S. Sklar
McFarland, Feb 29, 2012 - Social Science - 353 pages
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Mathematics has maintained a surprising presence in popular media for over a century. In recent years, the movies Good Will Hunting, A Beautiful Mind, and Stand and Deliver, the stage plays Breaking the Code and Proof, the novella Flatland and the hugely successful television crime series NUMB3RS all weave mathematics prominently into their storylines. Less obvious but pivotal references to the subject appear in the blockbuster TV show Lost, the cult movie The Princess Bride, and even Tolstoy's War and Peace. In this collection of new essays, contributors consider the role of math in everything from films, baseball, crossword puzzles, fantasy role-playing games, and television shows to science fiction tales, award-winning plays and classic works of literature. Revealing the broad range of intersections between mathematics and mainstream culture, this collection demonstrates that even "mass entertainment" can have a hidden depth.
 

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Contents

Foreword by Keith Devlin
1
Introduction
3
The Game
9
The Players
137
Math + Metaphor
247
Appendices
333
About the Contributors
337
Index
341
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Jessica K. Sklar, an associate professor of mathematics at Pacific Lutheran University, has published in the field of noncommutative ring theory and in the more readily accessible field of recreational mathematics. Elizabeth S. Sklar, a professor emerita at Wayne State University, specializes in Old and Middle English language and literature. She has published extensively in the fields of modern and medieval Arthurian legend.

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