Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

NUMB3RS Season 4 Wrap

A year ago, we highlighted some of our work for the CBS-Paramount TV series NUMB3RS. In September 2007, we wrote about our enhanced involvement and our launch of The Math behind NUMB3RS. The site presents math highlights and activities for every episode, starting with Season 4.

Tonight on CBS, Season 4 reaches a conclusion with the 78th episode—When Worlds Collide—and we’ve got our write-up for it available for your perusal. What happens when the worlds of science and government disagree? History provides numerous examples of this timeless subject. Italy, 212 BC: Archimedes wouldn’t leave his diagrams fast enough for a soldier’s liking and was killed. Spain, 1808: Arago was imprisoned as a spy while measuring the shape of the Earth. Poland, 1939: Kuratowski taught math at an illegal underground university. Tonight’s episode gives a modern version of the clash between state and science.

The Math behind NUMB3RS--Episode 418

For the fourth straight year, NUMB3RS has been Friday’s number-one show, and is consistently one of the top-ten-rated dramas on television. Now that we are providing all the math for the show, you can follow along. It is fun to watch how deeply the math works into the plots of a crime drama, and how mathematics serves as an inspiration.

Episode 411

From Episode 411: Explosion of a mathematical balloon constructed as a
Voronoi tessellation of random points

Some stats for the Season 4 episodes at The Math behind NUMB3RS: expanded mathematical discussions for 90 script quotes, 195 references for material used in either our discussions or in the show itself and 95 Wolfram Demonstrations that are related to topics mentioned within the show.

Voronoi diagrams computed in Mathematica
From Episode 413: Voronoi diagrams computed in Mathematica

Season 5 has already been approved. For now, the cast and crew—including us—are taking a vacation from the show. Look for more episodes and write-ups in September. As Alan Eppes might say, “To be continued…”


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1 comment

  1. I have really enjoyed the intellectual quality of thought behind this show and I appreciate your contribution to it. I would had to see it disappear. I just wanted to let your readers know that CBS has reduced their order to 16 this season, which is considered a step towards official cancellation later this year.
    Interested supporters are being asked to write Nina Tessler, President, CBS Entertainment, at:
    4024 Radford Ave., Room 3118
    Studio City, California, 91604