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You can either love or hate mathematics. It depends not only on your innate skills but also on the teacher you get. Some will inspire and motivate you to develop your talents, others will turn every class into a torture. Whether you like math or not, no one can deny the fact that it is a beautiful science. It helps us understand the laws of the world we live in and also go beyond its limits and explore cosmos.
Do not think of every equation you solve as of just another homework task
. Just imagine how important all of the steps of the great scientists were and how they helped us. It always starts with some simple equations. However, the results can help you see the correlation between various phenomena in our world. This collection of movies about math will help you find the motivation you lack and see the real beauty of mathematics.
1. A Beautiful Mind
We’ll start off with the classics. It is a biographical drama that is based on the life of John Nash – a famous mathematician and Nobel prize laureate. You will learn about the concept of Nash equilibrium – crucial theory in non-cooperative games. The movie focuses on the brilliant mind of John Nash and his extraordinary abilities. It has a lot of math concepts explained so you won’t spend time in vain.
2. The Imitation Game
Alan Turing made a great contribution to the theoretical computer science. He probably was the most famous and successful cryptanalyst back in the days. He came up with novel codebreaking strategies that helped to decipher the code messages of Nazis. It is a great movie to learn not only about the mathematical algorithms but also moral dilemmas people have to face from time to time. It is hard to accept the fact that you have to let people die to save the lives of millions.
For all of those who love horror movies and science fiction. There are 5 people in one room. No one knows how they got there or how to get out of the room. It is all about the cooperation and their ability to get a sense of the situation. From the math’s point of view, you will get the pleasure to learn more about factoring numbers and Cartesian coordinates.
4. The Bank
The idea of getting rich very quickly is very tempting. If only there was a way to do it with higher probability than winning a lottery. Some think that the stock market is that kind of a lottery. The movie is about a talented mathematician who seems to come up with a formula that predicts the fluctuations. He then creates a software that relies on the Chaos Theory and shows the behavior of the stock market.
5. The Code Conspiracy
The movie plays with your mind and uses paradoxes. We see a scientist who discovers a mathematical code and proves the existence of God. The topic is quite debatable but the movie is really fascinating in exploring it without giving any cultural or political background.
6. Travelling Salesman
This is a movie that tells a story of four mathematicians. They are hired by the U.S. government to find the solution to the P versus NP problem. It is one of the key problems of computational theory. Its solution can make a huge contribution not only to the mathematics, but also algorithm research, artificial intelligence, game theory, etc.
It is a biographical movie about the famous physicist Richard Feynman. Apart from being a witty person with great sense of humor, he was a talented Nobel prize-winning physicist and mathematician. Feynman was an inventor of certain path integrals that are well studied in mathematics. If you are interested in his personality, there is also a great book about him to read called “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”.
If you are a fan of Darren Aronofsky, you will enjoy this thriller. Sometimes looking for the correlations between different numbers seeking specific signs will not lead you anywhere. The movie is about the obsession of a mathematician who tries to find the one and only answer to the laws of the universe.
9. Stand and Deliver
If you are not lucky to have a great math teacher, this movie will show you that they exist. It is about a high school math teacher who helps his students improve their skills and pass a calculus test. It is very moving and shows the best side of a person. Watch it when you think that the whole world is against you.
We could not stand the temptation of including a film about the time traveling in this list. Although Primer is known for its low budget, the movie is very exciting to watch. The plot was written by Shane Carruth who holds a math degree so you are guaranteed to enjoy the complex technical dialogues and many interesting facts.