Just got back from a preview screening of NUMB3RS, a new TV serial, running on CBS at 10pm Fridays. The main characters are brothers, one an FBI agent, the other a mathematician at a university modelled on Caltech.
The premise of the show is that the mathematician gets involved in using maths to solve various cases his brother is working on. The episode we viewed saw him developing a formula to predict where a serial rapist lives, based on the assumption that the rapist is “randomly” distributing his victims around, but not near, where he lives.
There were a few scenes filmed on campus, and at the panel discussion with the cast and screenwriters afterwards, we were told that the show is going to model Caltech very accurately, though not by name.
I might even have watched an episode or two, except for the fact that our cable company finally realised that we’re only paying for internet access, and so they shouldn’t also give us cable TV. So, basically, if we weren’t penny-pinching grad students, we would have been able to watch how penny-pinching grad students are supposed to behave.
Exercise for the reader: Calculate where you live, based on the addresses on 12 recent receipts in your wallet. Then arrest yourself.
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