### NUMB3RS: The MATH show

In the CBS show

*Numb3rs*, “Cal Sci” (loosely based on Caltech, California

Institute of Technology) mathematician Charlie Eppes (David Krumholtz)

gets chewed out by his friend, physics professor Larry Fleinhardt (Peter

MacNicol), for missing a meeting, in a scene filmed under the sunlit arches

of Caltech’s Kerckhoff Laboratories.

"Leave it to television to work out a way to make a national symbol of

nerdiness—mathematics—into something sexy.

Aided by an intense, young, tousle-haired math professor named Charlie

Eppes, the creators of Numb3rs, airing Fridays at 10 p.m. (Pacific Time)

on CBS, manage to do just that. Yes, the algorithm ace looks dashing as he

plummets down a hill in a glorified go-cart he calls an extreme-gravity

vehicle. But it’s not just math-flavored machismo. Caltech-caliber

calculations course through the episodes, facilitated by professor Gary

Lorden ’62, who serves as Numb3rs’s mathematics advisor, and

buttressed by scenes shot at the Institute.

Numb3rs, which premiered January 23, covers familiar TV crime-busting

territory—foiling bioterrorism, outwitting bank robbers, and stopping a

serial rapist. But there’s a twist: FBI Special Agent Don Eppes (Rob

Morrow, of Northern Exposure fame) enlists the help of his brilliant

younger brother, Charlie (David Krumholtz), a math professor, to solve

some of the bureau’s most vexing cases.

Real algorithms help the Eppes brothers uncover a serial rapist’s point of

origin when Charlie works out an equation derived from crime scene

locations pinpointed on a map. He uses probability, statistics, graph theory,

and vector analysis to identify the culprit in a Spanish flu outbreak that

strikes Los Angeles. Week after week, viewers see how Charlie uses actual

mathematical methods to help crack tough cases."

[Source: "Crime and Computation" by Rhonda Hillbery (Full Story )]