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The Simpsons: Girls Just Want to Have Sums (2006)
Matt Selman

In this episode from the 17th season of the hit cartoon The Simpsons, the principal of Bart and Lisa's school makes a sexist comment (clearly a reference to the controversial comments from Harvard President Larry Summers about a year ago) which leads to the school being divided into separate programs by gender. Lisa is upset at the poor quality of education received by the girls and so masquerades as a boy so as to be able to attend their math classes.

For more information, check out Sarah Greenwald's Site and this Wikipedia entry.

Also, be sure to check out the description of other math on The Simpsons here on the Mathematical Fiction homepage and at Sarah's SimpsonsMath page.

Contributed by Paige DeBenedittis

I took your Math in Fiction class Spring of 2005 and my mother still sends me emails whenever she sees a new book/movie/etc dealing with math in fiction. When I started your class and explained the idea to her, she paused and said, "I just read a book where this young girl saves everyone by knowing this special number. Do you know it?" I asked her what it was and she starting saying, " 1, 1, 2, 3..." And I picked up with "5, 8, 13..." She flipped out. Haha. But then I explained the Fibonacci sequence and she's been hooked ever since.

Anyways she saw this new book advertised and I checked your website and didn't see anything on it. I thought it was pretty cool so I wanted to send you an email about it: The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh.

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Works Similar to The Simpsons: Girls Just Want to Have Sums
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Recess (Episode: A Genius Among Us) by Brian Hamill
  2. Futurama (Episode: The Prisoner of Benda) by Ken Keeler (writer) / Stephen Sandoval (director)
  3. Simpsons (Episode: Homer3) by John Swarzwelder / Steve Tomkins / David S. Cohen
  4. Summer Wars by Mamoru Hosoda (Director)
  5. Futurama (Episode: 2-D Blacktop) by Michael Rowe (writer) / Raymie Muzquiz (director)
  6. Sophie's Diary by Dora Musielak
  7. Family Ties (Episode: My Tutor) by Jace Richdale (Screenplay) / Sam Weisman (Director)
  8. The Brady Kids (Episode: It's All Greek to Me) by Marc Richards (screenwriter) / Marc Richards (director)
  9. Monster's Proof by Richard Lewis
  10. MathNet by Childrens Television Workshop
Ratings for The Simpsons: Girls Just Want to Have Sums:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
3/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)

MotifAcademia, Female Mathematicians, Math Education,
MediumTelevision Series or Episode,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)