# Mathematicians - mad or glad?

By Murray Bourne, 07 Jul 2006

A recent article (no longer available) by Sean Mitchell, New York Times News Service, gives insight into the success of the TV show *Numb3rs*. It also describes the mathematically passionate lead character Eppes, played by David Krumholtz.

I liked this bit:

"I'm no mathematician," Krumholtz said. "I think it's more important that I learn who a mathematician is and how he sees the world than it is to actually learn the math."

"The mathematics community has embraced us because the character is a great representation of their passion," he continued. Mathematicians are typically portrayed on on-screen "as mad or emotionally unstable or socially retarded," he said, "and that's not something we wanted to do at all."

As a result, Krumholtz has been invited to three math conventions this year. And Texas Instruments, in association with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and CBS, has developed a program of math-education activities for teachers geared to the crime-solving techniques used on the show.

I might start watching *Numb3rs* again. My first experience left me unimpressed, something like the first (and only) time I watched CSI (which was full of holes, scientifically).

But anything that lifts mathematics above the gutter level has got to be a Good Thing...

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