Every Friday night at 10pm US Eastern Time, around 12 million people tune in to

CBS and watch a hit television show called

*NUMB3RS*. It’s the most popular CBS drama on Friday nights.

*NUMB3RS* tracks the crime-solving exploits of an FBI team assisted by a brilliant mathematics professor.
The show is about how to use math to solve crimes.
If you add up all the bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees awarded in mathematics in a given US academic year, there are only around 20 thousand. And presumably, not every single one of them watches this show.
So why are 12 million people tuning in on a regular basis to watch a show about math?
Because this show makes math---especially cutting-edge higher mathematics---interesting in a way that no popular television show has done before, much as another show on CBS---

*CSI: Crime Scene Investigation*---led the way in making science both accessible and entertaining to the mass television market.

*NUMB3RS* is therefore the first successful television drama to make advanced mathematics accessible, interesting and entertaining in a dramatic format.
So how did that happen? Where does the TV math come from?
From the behind-the-scenes

brain trust at Wolfram Research.