The Calculus of Comedy: Math in The Simpsons, Futurama, and The Big Bang Theory

October 25, 2017


 HomerWhile there is no mathematical formula for writing television comedy, for the writers of The Simpsons, Futurama, and The Big Bang Theory, mathematical formulas (along with classic equations and cutting-edge theorems) can sometimes be an integral part of those shows.  In a lively and nerdy discussion, five of these writers (who have advanced degrees in math, physics, and computer science) will share their love of numbers and talent for producing laughter.  Mathematician Sarah Greenwald, who teaches and writes about math in popular culture, will moderate the panel.

The event will begin with a lecture by bestselling author Simon Singh (The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets), who will examine some of the mathematical nuggets hidden in The Simpsons (from Euler’s identity to Mersenne primes) and discuss how Futurama has also managed to include obscure number theory and complex ideas about geometry.

When:  Wednesday, October 25, 2017, from 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM PDT

Where:  UCLA California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), 570 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Tickets:  Tickets are $15 each and seating is limited, so reserve your seat soon. Tickets can be purchased here via Eventbrite (ticket required for entry to the event).

A limited number of free tickets will be reserved for UCLA students. We ask that students come to IPAM between 9:00am and 3:00pm on Friday, October 20, to present your BruinCard and pick up your ticket (one ticket per BruinCard, nontransferable).  If any tickets remain, we will continue distributing free tickets to students on Monday, Oct. 22, starting at 9:00am until we run out. Both your ticket and BruinCard must be presented at the door for entry.

Doors open at 4:00.  Please plan to arrive early to check in and find a seat. We expect a large audience.

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