5 speakers 15 minutes each
Maths and The Simpsons
Simon Singh studied physics, before completing a PhD in particle physics at Cambridge University and at CERN, Geneva. In 1990 he joined the BBC’s Science Department, as a producer and director in programmes such as Tomorrow’s World and Horizon. In 1996 he directed Fermat’s Last Theorem, a BAFTA award winning documentary about the world’s most notorious mathematical problem. This was also the subject of his first book, Fermat’s Last Theorem. His book The Code Book resulted in a return to television when he presented The Science of Secrecy for Channel 4. The stories in the series range from the cipher that sealed the fate of Mary Queen of Scots to the coded Zimmermann Telegram that changed the course of the First World War. His has also written a book, which explores mathematical themes hidden in The Simpsons. Everyone knows that The Simpsons is the most successful show in television history, but very few people realise that its team of mathematically gifted writers have used the show to explore everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity.