The Great Gibberish—Mathematics in Western Popular Culture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, I study how mathematicians are presented in western popular culture. I identify five stereotypes that I test on the best-known modern movies and television shows containing a significant amount of mathematics or important mathematician characters: (1) Mathematics is highly valued as an intellectual pursuit. (2) Little attention is given to the mathematical content. (3) Mathematical practice is portrayed in an unrealistic way. (4) Mathematicians are asocial and unable to enjoy normal life. (5) Higher mathematics is often connected to mental instability—if not downright mental illness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMathematical Cultures : The London Meetings 2012-2016
EditorsBrendan Larvor
Number of pages29
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer
Publication date2016
Pages409-437
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-28580-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-28582-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameTrends in the History of Science
PublisherSpringer
ISSN (Print)2297-2951

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology

Cite this

Pantsar, M. (2016). The Great Gibberish—Mathematics in Western Popular Culture. In B. Larvor (Ed.), Mathematical Cultures: The London Meetings 2012-2016 (pp. 409-437). (Trends in the History of Science). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28582-5_23
Pantsar, Markus. / The Great Gibberish—Mathematics in Western Popular Culture. Mathematical Cultures: The London Meetings 2012-2016. editor / Brendan Larvor. Cham : Springer, 2016. pp. 409-437 (Trends in the History of Science).
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Pantsar, M 2016, The Great Gibberish—Mathematics in Western Popular Culture. in B Larvor (ed.), Mathematical Cultures: The London Meetings 2012-2016. Trends in the History of Science, Springer, Cham, pp. 409-437. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28582-5_23

The Great Gibberish—Mathematics in Western Popular Culture. / Pantsar, Markus.

Mathematical Cultures: The London Meetings 2012-2016. ed. / Brendan Larvor. Cham : Springer, 2016. p. 409-437 (Trends in the History of Science).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

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Pantsar M. The Great Gibberish—Mathematics in Western Popular Culture. In Larvor B, editor, Mathematical Cultures: The London Meetings 2012-2016. Cham: Springer. 2016. p. 409-437. (Trends in the History of Science). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28582-5_23