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Simpsons Rule! Mathematical Morsels from The Simpsons

Sarah J. Greenwald* and Andrew Nestler
Appalachian State University - Santa Monica College

The Simpsons has established itself as an award-winning international pop culture phenomenon. It is the longest-running sitcom of all time and it is also one of the most literate television programs on the air, containing many references to subject matter and scholars from various academic fields, including mathematics. Since The Simpsons has been airing in prime-time for most of our students' lives, they likely are familiar with the program and its large cast of characters, including a resident mathematician. The Simpsons also contains over a hundred in stances of mathematics ranging from arithmetic to geometry to calculus, many designed to expose and poke fun at innumeracy. Several episodes of The Simpsons contain significant mathematics that relates to material we normally cover in our classes. For these reasons, this program is an ideal source of fun ways to introduce important concepts, reduce math anxiety, and motivate students.

Join us as we present some of our favorite mathematical excerpts from The Simpsons and explore the related mathematical content, accuracy and pedagogical value. See simpsonsmath.com for more information.

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