Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Review: The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh

Did you know that over its thirty year run, the writers of The Simpsons have managed to insert, well, numerous mathematical jokes into the script. This is no surprise, given that many of the team are also expect mathematicians. In The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, mathematician Simon Singh explains some of the mathematical concepts to the layperson, lets the reader in on some of the jokes that they may not have noticed and adds in some of his own mathematical humour.

This was a great read for me. I'm a massive fan of The Simpsons (and have been since the age of nine, when it debuted in Australia,) and I've loved the show for its depth and the fact that it often the script will cause different viewers to laugh at different things. As someone who does not come from a mathematical background (I never studied Maths in my final year of high school,) I was unaware of many of the maths jokes that had appeared in various episodes, and enjoyed having them explained to me. It was also the first time in many, many years that I had Maths explained to me in a way that is fun and accessible. There is also a section of that other show by the makers of The Simpsons, Futurama, and there is a lot of insight and fun to be had in that chapter as well.