Mathematical References In The Simpsons

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Throughout the TV series “The Simpsons,” there are multiple mathematical references hidden in episodes. Two mathematical references include topics we have analyzed so far in our class, Fermat’s Last Theorem and topology. In an episode titled “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” Homer tries to give solutions to problems in both of these mathematical topics. In the episode, Homer is trying to become an inventor. However, due to the nature of Homer’s character his mathematics results in incorrect equations and solutions. He writes the following mathematical equations and sequences on a blackboard:

The second equation
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Homer’s equation is very close to disproving Fermat’s Last Theorem, however, because of this margin of error it does not. This is only the first mathematical reference to topics we have discussed in class that is given in this scene of the episode.
In the same scene of the episode, the fourth equation Homer writes on the board refers to topology. In the sequence written, Homer tries to turn a torus into a sphere. This is a problem we have previously discussed in class and disproven. First, a torus contains one hole and a sphere does not have any holes. Secondly, if a torus is cut by any loop it remains in one piece, however, if a sphere is cut by any loop it results in two pieces. Therefore, a torus and a sphere are topologically different objects, proving Homer’s sequence wrong.
These references are not the only mathematical references shown throughout the entire TV series. Since the beginning of the series, there have been references to Mersenne primes, infinity, and a reference to an unsolved problem regarding the relationship between hard problems (NP-type) and easy problems (P-type). All of these references are a result of the scriptwriters. Many of the scriptwriters, including David X. Cohen who wrote this episode, have backgrounds and PhDs in mathematics and many have published academic works in
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