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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Numb3rs, a TV series recommended for students in research and statistics

I’ve watched this TV series called Numb3rs in Cable TV a few years ago and I’ve been hooked to each episode ever since. It’s about two brothers, the older one an FBI agent who constantly consults his younger brother, a math professor, in solving crimes. Each crime is solved using different mathematical analysis tools be it on profiling criminals, predicting their movements, identifying locations of victims, or some IT stuff such as image enhancement of surveillance videos or hacking computer systems.

What hooked me is when I see such stuff as logistic regression, discriminant analysis, randomization, game theory, risk assessment, and other stuff I have encountered in grad school, being used in solving crimes. I have also been motivated of learning more on other analytical tools I have heard for the first time in the show such as Benford’s Law, the Voronoi Diagram, The Riemann Hypothesis, and lots of other stuff that inspires me more to learn math.

Numb3rs opening line for every episode:
We all use math every day; to predict weather, to tell time, to handle money. Math is more than formulas or equations; it's logic, it's rationality, it's using your mind to solve the biggest mysteries we know.
So if you’re a student enrolled in research or statistics right now, I recommend you watch the show in order to appreciate the power of numbers in solving society’s ills. This may motivate you to be more serious about the seemingly boring stuff called math. I haven’t followed the recent episodes lately since I’ve been busy with my online stuff but I think it’s still in AXN.

By the way here’s a description of the series from the Numb3rs Fan Site

Rob Morrow stars as FBI agent Don Eppes, who recruits his mathematical genius brother, Charlie (David Krumholtz), to help the Bureau solve a wide range of challenging crimes in Los Angeles. From two very different perspectives, the brothers take on the most confounding criminal cases, aided by Don's partner, Terry Lake (Sabrina Lloyd), and new FBI recruit David Sinclair (Alimi Ballard). Although their father, Alan (Judd Hirsch), is pleased to see his sons working together, he fears their competitive nature will lead to trouble. Charlie's colleague, physicist Dr. Larry Fleinhardt (Peter MacNicol), urges Charlie to focus more on his university studies than on FBI business. Inspired by actual events, NUMB3RS depicts how the confluence of police work and mathematics provides unexpected revelations and answers to the most perplexing criminal questions.
See also: Numb3rs Blog - This is a blog where a professor from Northeastern University's Math department posts mathematical comments on the television show "Numb3rs".

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Anonymous said...

Numb3rs TV Show is a great crime television drama series. This is a good show. All episodes and seasons and their stories are really good to watch.

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