Sunday, December 19, 2004

Numb3rs

Coming in January to the American television network CBS, a series about a FBI agent who recruits his brother, a math genius, to help solve crimes. I don't hold much hope for realism in Numb3rs (anyone remember Q.E.D.?) but any show that shows mathematicians in a good light helps shape public perception of our field.

I would like to know the "actual events" that inspired this series.

15 comments:

  1. i hope they don't use it to make a joke of mathematicians (geeky, antisocial, etc etc)

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  2. I would call my self geeky and anti-social.


    ...


    Wait a second, I'm not a mathematician.

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  3. Suresh, I'd find it highly improbable that they'd make a show in which the target demographic could not even identify with the main characters.

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  4. Does anyone else remember the show Probe? The first season was about a scientist solving mysteries, using real science, with his ditsy assistant who always thought it was ghosts. Isaac Asimov was a co-producer or something.

    The second season was all about ghosts and "the unknown" and the ditsy assistant was always right, and the scientific explanation was always wrong. Asimov was not involved the 2nd season.

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  5. I really liked Q.E.D! I remember being bummed out that it was canceled.

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  6. NUMB3RS is currently employing the head of mathematics at Caltech as a consultant. Most episodes have been based on true stories. The mathematician character is portrayed in a very flattering manner. He's socially awkward, but charismatic, passionate and fun.

    Hope you enjoy it.

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  7. D4 717L3 15 1337 j0! NUM8342!!1!
    WH47 W111 7H3Y 7H1NK 0F N3X7?

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  8. The pilot episode of Numb3rs appears to be based on the work of Dr. Kim Rossmo, who developed an algorithm to determine the most likely location of the residence of a criminal offender in a series of crimes. He developed Geographic Profiling and has been featured on Dateline and several episodes of Forensic Files. One such publicized case where geographic profiling was useful was a serial rapist case in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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  9. Had D. Kim Rossmo as a professor. As soon as I saw the commercials for the new series Numb3rs, I was convinced it must have been based on his works....

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  10. By the way, whover posted that comment on Kim Rossmo is now on the New York Post, as they've credited "anonymous chatter":

    http://www.newyorkpost.com/tv/38542.htm

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  11. I made the post about Dr. Rossmo. The show was definitely based on his work as his Criminal Geographic Targeting algorithm, which Numb3rs showed several times, was used right down to the specific letters and symbols used in the equation. I would like to make one correction on my previous posting: the serial rapist case was actually in Lafayette, Louisiana, not Baton Rouge.

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  12. The math whiz and mathematics portrayed detracted from the show. The FBI agents and action were good and interesting. I predict the show will be a flop due the the portrayal of mathematics. If they portrayed the math whiz in a better light and not so downtrodden, it would be worth watching.

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  13. They dont the show is really cool. And the Charlie (the math guy lol) Is a bit odd, but an interesting character. I think this show is great. And it is based on true storys so ya know thats even cooler. If you want to know more about the show check out this site http://aspyre.net/numbers Its a great site. Lots of stuff.

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  14. Anti-social Sociologist8:55 AM, July 12, 2005

    Basically I was thinking that considering "Numb3rs" + Rossmo's Algorithm + the fact theat we're talking about interdisciplinary fields anymore (Sociology, Psychology, Criminology, Maths, Statistics, etc.), there is the idea that all the serial killers' criminal acts have a fractal structure (in time and space). Most probably - at least unconsciously - they follow a pattern. Maybe I am wrong, I don't know... Any feedback?

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  15. i think this show is great i really hope they keep it on!!

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