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Learn Math with The Simpsons

I was just thinking this morning of a Simpson’s math joke, so I was pleasantly surprised to see this article from Wired, which mentioned it (RDRR):

It’s no secret that the longest-running American sitcom is also one of the smartest. Academics have pored over The Simpsons for its insights into philosophy and psychology, but it took physicist Simon Singh, the author of previous books about cryptography, the Big Bang, and Fermat’s Enigma, to tap a vein of knowledge that runs even deeper in the animated world of Springfield: math.

In the engaging (and educational) The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, Singh delves into the academic backgrounds of some of the most poindextrous Simpsons writers — Al Jean, J. Stewart Burns, Jeff Westbrook, and David X. Cohen among them — who are equipped with advanced degrees in math and science. Naturally, they’ve been using their platform to advance what Cohen calls "a decades-long conspiracy to secretly educate cartoon viewers."

Hoyvin-glavin! Click through the gallery above for some key Simpsons moments of witty math infusion.

Read more here.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.