Simon Singh’s New Book: The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

Simon Singh is the author of the *incredible* books Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe and Fermat’s Enigma. His remarkable talent is taking complicated math and science topics and making them accessible to everybody.

His latest work combines two worlds that have a much closer relationship than you ever knew: It’s called The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets:

In the excerpt below, republished with permission from Dr. Singh, we learn how a nugget of dialogue from the show can open the door to a greater understanding of infinity:

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This is Why I Don’t Believe Anyone Who Says ‘I’m Not a Math Person’

An article at The Atlantic by Miles Kimball and Noah Smith argues against the notion that some people are just not “math people” and I couldn’t agree more:

… we believe that the idea of “math people” is the most self-destructive idea in America today. The truth is, you probably are a math person, and by thinking otherwise, you are possibly hamstringing your own career. Worse, you may be helping to perpetuate a pernicious myth that is harming underprivileged children — the myth of inborn genetic math ability.

So why do we focus on math? For one thing, math skills are increasingly important for getting good jobs these days — so believing you can’t learn math is especially self-destructive. But we also believe that math is the area where America’s “fallacy of inborn ability” is the most entrenched. Math is the great mental bogeyman of an unconfident America. If we can convince you that anyone can learn math, it should be a short step to convincing you that you can learn just about anything, if you work hard enough.

This is precisely what I’ve noticed in nearly a decade of teaching math at the high-school level: The students who say they’re “bad at math” tend to do just fine when they’re given good instruction and practice properly. The students who don’t do well are usually the ones who aren’t trying very hard in the first place.

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Over the Past Decade, There Has Been a Sharp Decline in Money Spent on Building Churches

We know the economy’s in bad shape. We know the recession hurt a lot of industries. But even I was shocked to see just how much of a drop there has been over the past decade when it comes to religious construction (i.e. building churches).

The latest report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis website puts the finishing touches on this incredible chart:

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An Excerpt from Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics

Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann, who previously wrote the excellent book The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers (1997), have teamed up once again to write Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics (Prometheus Books, 2013).

It’s a book with a self-explanatory title, and you only need a high-school-level background in math to understand it.

The following are excerpts from the book, reprinted with permission of the publishers:

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This Is Why Math Is Important, Everyone

From the Christian Post:

Sam Rohrer, president of the Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network, stated that he was “stunned at this decision today to take a 360-degree turn away from the biblical definition of marriage.”

Huh. I figured he’d be pretty excited about that… [Read more...]


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