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  • Donald in Mathmagic Land: Pythagoras and The Pythagoreans

    history of mathematics
    The narrator explains to Donald the story of Pythagoras, who is considered by some to be the father of mathematics and music. He discusses Pythagoras' society, the Pythagoreans, and how they used mathematics to create music.

  • Numb3rs: Thirteen

    mathematical patterns
    In this clip, a serial killer is choosing his victims from the Los Angeles phone book based on a system of beliefs rooted in numerology. Numerologists believe that numbers have a spiritual or mystical meaning that transcends what mathemeticians and scientists understand. Charlie is forced to learn about these beliefs, and determine what mathematical patterns the killer is using in order to predict the next victim.

  • Numb3rs: Random matrices

    probability theory
    mathematical physics
    random matrices
    In Episode 207, "Convergence," an old college rival comes to CalSci (Marshall Penfield, played by Colin Hanks,) to present new research on a gap he has found in Charlie's proof. Although Charlie does find a way to resolve the error term, it isn't clear to many people watching still what type of math Charlie really does do! What he studies falls into the area of probability and statistics involving what are called "random matrices." While the first activity has no prerequisites, the latter activities all assume some basic knowledge of linear algebra, matrices, and determinants.

  • Lincoln: Euclid

    transitive property of equality
    Abraham Lincoln makes reference to Greek mathematician Euclid, who states that things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.

  • A Beautiful Mind: Welcome to Princeton

    impact of mathematicians
    real world application
    In this intro scene to A Beautiful Mind, a professor gives a speech explaining how mathematics contributed to the Cold War and the national security of the United States.