In this Book

Math Goes to the Movies
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summary
Mel Gibson teaching Euclidean geometry, Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins acting out Zeno's paradox, Michael Jackson proving in three different ways that 7 x 13 = 28. These are just a few of the intriguing mathematical snippets that occur in hundreds of movies. Burkard Polster and Marty Ross have pored through the cinematic calculus and here offer a thorough and entertaining survey of the quirky, fun, and beautiful mathematics to be found on the big screen. Math Goes to the Movies is based on the authors’ own collection of more than 700 mathematical movies and their many years using movie clips to inject moments of fun into their courses. With more than 200 illustrations, many of them screenshots from the movies themselves, this book provides an inviting way to explore math, featuring such movies as • Good Will Hunting • A Beautiful Mind • Stand and Deliver • Pi • Die Hard • The Mirror Has Two Faces The authors use these iconic movies to introduce and explain important and famous mathematical ideas: higher dimensions, the golden ratio, infinity, and much more. Not all math in movies makes sense, however, and Polster and Ross talk about Hollywood’s most absurd blunders and outrageous mathematical scenes. They round out this engaging journey into the realm of mathematics by conducting interviews with mathematical consultants to movies. This fascinating behind-the-scenes look at movie math shows how fun and illuminating equations can be.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Part I Movies
  2. pp. 1-1
  1. Chapter 1 Good Math Hunting
  2. pp. 3-19
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  1. Chapter 2 The Clever Hand Behind A Beautiful Mind
  2. pp. 21-39
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  1. Chapter 3 Escalante Stands and Delivers
  2. pp. 41-52
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  1. Chapter 4 The Annotated Pi Files
  2. pp. 53-70
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  1. Chapter 5 Nitpicking in Mathmagic Land
  2. pp. 71-84
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  1. Chapter 6 Escape from the Cube
  2. pp. 85-96
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  1. Chapter 7 The Incredible Shrinking Room
  2. pp. 97-102
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  1. Chapter 8 Murder in the Hot House
  2. pp. 103-108
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  1. Chapter 9 A Word Problem for Die Hards
  2. pp. 109-114
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  1. Chapter 10 7 × 13 = 28
  2. pp. 115-120
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  1. Chapter 11 One Mirror Has Two Faces, Two Mirrors Have . . .
  2. pp. 121-131
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  1. Chapter 12 It’s My Turn for Some Serious Mathematics
  2. pp. 133-140
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  1. Part II Mathematics
  2. pp. 141-141
  1. Chapter 13 Beautiful Math, or Better Off Dead
  2. pp. 143-150
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  1. Chapter 14 Pythagoras and Fermat at the Movies
  2. pp. 151-160
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  1. Chapter 15 Survival in the Fourth Dimension
  2. pp. 161-176
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  1. Chapter 16 To Infinity, and Beyond!
  2. pp. 177-190
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  1. Chapter 17 Problem Corner
  2. pp. 191-198
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  1. Chapter 18 Money-Back Bloopers
  2. pp. 199-208
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  1. Chapter 19 The Funny Files
  2. pp. 209-228
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  1. Part III Lists
  2. pp. 229-229
  1. Chapter 20 People Lists
  2. pp. 231-250
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  1. Chapter 21 Topics Lists
  2. pp. 251-280
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  1. Movie Index
  2. pp. 281-286
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