a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|MathNet (1987) || Childrens Television Workshop |
| A children's TV show in which mysteries are solved using
mathematics. The suspects and victims always ask the investigators
"Are you the police?" To which they reply "No, we're
mathematicians!" In my favorite episode, they use number
theory to deduce that the money stolen from the bank is being stolen
by the person who loads the ATM machine with bills. He puts hundred
dollar bills in the ten dollar slot and then withdraws money from his
account leaving the bank always short by multiples of 90!
Joel Schneider, Children's Television Workshop.|
"We produced 30 five-part serials [of Mathnet] and cut ten of them into
one-hour specials. The whole idea was to have some engaging characters
using mathematics and, moreover, have a woman take the lead in it.
Everyone who worked on the production had a good time with it. I was
especially appreciative that they all took the math seriously and worked
hard to do well by it."
Somehow, a horde of MathNet fans have found this Website and bombarded me
with e-mail (Feb 2001). They all want me to fix an error in the date (the
show was made between 1987 and 1992, not 1977 as I had accidentally
written) and say how great it was. I agree with them that the show was
sometimes very educational and a lot of fun. I am grateful to these
fans for pointing me to the Website at http://www.jillthepill.net/mathnet/wo04000.htm
which summarizes each episode of the show.
"I remember enjoying this as a young child and learning more from it than
my math class at school. Topics such as the Fibonacci Sequence taught to
second graders- who would have imagined that they would love it?"
My oldest two (of five) children watched this as youngsters. They loved it and learned LOTS of math. My second child is now a math major at University of Washington. I wish my younger children, as well as my second grade students every year, could have the chance to watch it. Why can't Children's Television Network bring it back? I'm sure it would be just as popular today.
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mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more
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(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)