Mathematical Movie Database

film_projector_on_stand_sm_whtI saw the following Tweet yesterday:

I am always interested in finding mathematics in pop culture. The Mathematical Movie Database contains an extensive list of more than 800 movies and television shows that contain clips of mathematics. The site is maintained by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross.

About ten years ago, on a whim, we began to collect movies containing mathematics. Now, as a consequence of that whim, we own a library of more than 800 movies on DVD, VHS, 16 mm, Laserdisc, and some strange thing called a CED video disc. The movies range from those expressly about mathematicians, to those that, for whatever reason, just happen to have a snippet of humorous mathematical dialogue. Over the years, we have found that it is not only professional mathematicians who find the fun in this cinematic mathematics. Just about everybody is charmed by Meg Ryan explaining Zeno’s paradox in I.Q., Danny Kaye singing about Pythagoras’s theorem in Merry Andrew, Lou Costello explaining to Bud Abbott why 7 x 13 =28 in In the Navy, and so on.

They also give links to other pages about mathematical movies. For instance, Oliver Knill has a collection of movie clips containing mathematical content. They also link to the Mathematical Fiction page, mentioned on this blog by Maya Sharma (Sept 2012).

Take some time to peruse these websites. Let me know what your favorite findings are. Enjoy!

About Tyler Clark

I am a second year doctoral student in mathematics at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL. I obtained my MS from WKU in Bowling Green, KY where I researched continued radicals and Cantor sets.
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