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Chuck
2005-Jan-24, 03:07 AM
NUMB3RS is just starting, the new crime drama about an FBI agent and a mathematician teaming up to solve crimes. Anyone think the math abuse will be horrifying?

V-GER
2005-Jan-24, 03:13 AM
Da Vinci Code-esque horrifying.

Makgraf
2005-Jan-24, 03:41 AM
Everyone knows that these (http://ellery.info/mathnet/) are the orginal math cops. :)

Ut
2005-Jan-24, 05:02 AM
Everyone knows that these (http://ellery.info/mathnet/) are the orginal math cops. :)

To Cogitate and To Solve!

Maksutov
2005-Jan-24, 11:50 AM
Well, it's pretty obvious that the networks need another cops & crime show, since there's such a dearth of them.

There's a shortage of medical and lawyer shows, too.

:roll:

mike alexander
2005-Jan-24, 02:39 PM
Law and Order: Prime Numbers Unit

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Jan-24, 03:20 PM
NUMB3RS is just starting, the new crime drama about an FBI agent and a mathematician teaming up to solve crimes. Anyone think the math abuse will be horrifying?
Waddya think now?

The only part that really made me cringe was when the physicist was putting the guilt trip on the mathematician for wasting his talent on crime. The physicist said that mathematicians burn out early, only getting in 8 or 9 good years.

Actually, that's the rep usually attributed to physicists (but I've argued against it in the past, especially in the example of Einstein), and mathematicians are often said to lead long and fruitful lives (see E. T. Bell's Men of Mathematics--Bell mentions the exception Galois, killed in a duel at 20, and that's the same example used in the program!).

Chuck
2005-Jan-24, 03:38 PM
I was expecting some bad math up front as a way of introducing the mathematician, possibly listing some of his accomplishments which I'm sure the writers would have described badly. That didn't happen, though.

I doubt that any formula could have narrowed down the killer's home so precisely using so few data points but TV often exaggerates to make a show interesting. Maybe they'll loosen up next episode and give us some really bad math.

Doodler
2005-Jan-24, 04:29 PM
I've heard they hired a consultant who's going to be keeping the math on track and somewhere close to logical. I've also read the actor who plays the number cruncher specifically stated he won't put chalk to blackboard on anything that he can't vaguely understand.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/TV/01/21/tv.numb3rs.ap/index.html

Maybe this is a hint of some kind of ethics behind the cameras for a change?

skrap1r0n
2005-Jan-25, 07:16 PM
I enjoyed the show, but then again, I only made a C in colelge algebra. I did think it was a bit hokey thought when they went into the whole "He-Visualizes-The-Math" thing. IN fact, I commented to my wife that the shots in CSI showing the path a bullet takes through a body were a whole lot cooler.

My question is, How the hell are they going to keep this going and keep it interesting?

dgruss23
2005-Jan-26, 12:55 AM
My question is, How the hell are they going to keep this going and keep it interesting?

That was exactly what I'm wondering. My wife and I are dubious that they can keep this up.

Chuck
2005-Jan-26, 01:31 AM
The math will have to become more interesting. That's when they'll have to ignore their technical advisor.

Makgraf
2005-Jan-26, 02:33 AM
Everyone knows that these (http://ellery.info/mathnet/) are the orginal math cops. :)

Then a day later Matt Yglesias also compares Numb3rs to Mathnet (http://yglesias.typepad.com/matthew/2005/01/worstdayever.html). (Though he gets the show it was on wrong). Made me feel happy.

swansont
2005-Jan-26, 02:52 PM
My question is, How the hell are they going to keep this going and keep it interesting?

That was exactly what I'm wondering. My wife and I are dubious that they can keep this up.

I agree that the math will become more dubious, but also they will go more in the direction of "character development" and add love interests, conflicts, personal problems, etc. Nothing wrong with that for the right type of show, but it's not why I watch crime-solving shows. I already see this happening on CSI, though some of it has added to the story line so far (splitting up the groups and getting Greg into the field). But I think once any of the shows become about the characters instead of solving the crime, it becomes just another show.

jfribrg
2005-Feb-11, 07:57 PM
Has anyone been following this show? I saw an article about it (but i can't find the link ) that listed several math professor types who are supposedly keeping the math aspects legit, but then again, the producers of The Core also bragged about how accurate the science was.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-12, 12:34 PM
I just caught the last few minutes of the program last night. The fade started when the cop mentioned that he'd applied Ockham's razor to the situation, and the dad seemed impressed, but the mathematician went into a spiel about what Ockham really said.

For some reason, the mathematician always reminds me of an elf.

Chuck
2005-Feb-12, 03:49 PM
I think last night's episode was the best so far. The plot wasn't overwhelmed by the math.

Tobin Dax
2005-Feb-13, 09:57 AM
Shoot, it's on Fridays? I've only seen one ep, but I'll have to remember to try to catch more. (I don't think I've seen Sabrina Lloyd since "Sliders.")


For some reason, the mathematician always reminds me of an elf.
Wasn't he the head elf in "The Santa Clause?" Checking, IMDB says yes, so that's probably why. :)

azazul
2005-Feb-13, 04:42 PM
I saw this on the episode two days ago and have seen it in movies and other shows. There is a scene where a computer shows the building and "calculates" whether it can take the stress of the wind or not. What I think is dumb is that it has graphics showing the building. Seems like a waste of time to program all that graphics in when all the program needs is to display the numbers it can withstand.

Another example of this that I know off the top of my head is in the movie Swordfish. The "hacker" is making a many headed worm known as a hydra. When he makes it the computer shows it coming together in cubes being placed together. It seems like he should have been spending his time making the actual worm instead of programming the graphics to represent the thing.

All of this is coming from a recent Computer Science graduate, who doesn't know much about graphics programming, so I may be wrong.

Chuck
2005-Feb-13, 08:11 PM
His program could have been sending the numbers to some standard 3D plotting program for display and not some display routine that he wrote from scratch. It would be a good debugging aid too. If the building was shaped wrong or wasn't swaying as expected then he'd know there was something wrong with his program. Computers aren't yet good at mimicing our ability to see.

azazul
2005-Feb-13, 08:20 PM
His program could have been sending the numbers to some standard 3D plotting program for display

Yeah, I'm retarded, I even use 3D plotting programs fairly frequently for some of my work in my Physics degree, so I should have thought of that.

swansont
2005-Feb-14, 12:44 AM
I think last night's episode was the best so far. The plot wasn't overwhelmed by the math.

I didn't get why he though that 18 inches in the position of the body implied that it wasn't a suicide. It would take a few seconds to fall the distance. The horizontal speed couldn't vary by a few inches per second?

Bad Dr Galaxy
2005-Feb-23, 04:23 PM
Well I like it so far. Yes, it's kind of a CSI clone. But so what? So far the math concepts I've seen have been sound.

One of the few cavils I've had concerns an action scene. The bad guy was holding an FBI agent in a headlock with a knife. A trained, large, burly FBI agent. No way. The agent would have cleaned his clock. But that has nothing to do with math.

Also, the technical advisor is Gary Lorden from Caltech. He should be able to keep them fairly honest.