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Tragicomic: Adults try 5th-grade math. Recover with Love and Math

(HT Doobybrain)

Soviets were AntiSemitic!? Oh Wait, Duh

The math department at prestigious Moscow State University would give special problems on their oral entrance exame to Jews and other “undesirables.” The solutions were simple, but nearly impossible to find — so the university avoided scandals or complaints, while keeping anyone they didn’t like from entering. These problems were “Jewish problems” or “coffins.” Read the new article about them here

In an event at the Science Museum in London on 26th September, Simon Singh, author of The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets, will explain how the Fox animated sitcom is the most mathematically-sophisticated show in the history of prime time broadcasting, and that Lisa is a critical ingredient. “When I talk to school kids about the mathematics hidden in The Simpsons, I always stress Lisa’s character, because she is such a great role model for girls who might be budding geeks or nascent nerds,” he says.

I will say that as far as fictional characters go, Lisa Simpson was a role model for me growing up.  She was intelligent, she knew it, and she wasn’t afraid to show it.  I am also a pretty big fan of Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time as a role model for young girls today - her character shows  that you can be a respected leader, a scientist, and still be sweet and wear pink dresses (if that’s what you’re into).  Anybody else have some fictional role models or am I the only weirdo that watches cartoons at 2 am?