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NUMB3RS

The television program NUMB3RS is back on the air, with the first episode of its second season being this past Friday night, September 23. My viewpoint: the show was disconnected, with the mathematics being forced into a story line. Also, the show tended to mention a lot of mathematical terms (e.g. reverse decision analysis, combinatorics), prompting another character to ask for an explanation (if only classroom students were this predictable), with the resulting explanation being quite vague.

My biggest difficulty was the main character's resolution of the two-suspect dilemma by an allusion to the PI-phenomena. The subsequent reference to the Buffon Needle experiment seemed to also be suspect, in that I believe the needles in question have to have a length equal to the width of lines on the paper (if this does not sound familiar, you did not watch the show carefully enough).

Despite my concerns, it is important to note that CBS, Texas Instruments, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM] are teaming up to coordinate classroom activities involving mathematics with each episode of the show NUMB3RS. Further information is available at: NUMB3RS link.