June 14, 2023

Crunching Numb3rs

Since this post isn’t about a specific destination, I’ve included a random assortment of favorite photos from past adventures for your viewing pleasure.  Alan and I just returned from a delightful eleven day trip to the coast of Maine; more current photos will soon be forthcoming.

“We all use math every day
to predict weather, to tell time, to handle money.
Math is more than formulas or equations;
it's logic, it's rationality,
it's using your mind to solve the biggest mysteries we know.”

I am a huge fan of the television show Numb3rs which ran for six seasons on CBS beginning in 2005.  The series is a police procedural about an FBI agent and his brother, a math professor, who work together to solve crimes.  The beginning of each episode during the first two or three seasons began with the quote above.  I didn’t watch the show when it originally aired; Alan and I were busy raising two young children.  I spent too much time attending PTA meetings and team sporting events to fit much TV into my evenings.  I found Numb3rs on daytime reruns when I was looking for something to help me pass the time while I indoor biked my 20 miles a day.

I was initially attracted to Numb3rs because it was a crime drama.  I liked it because the characters had varied and intriguing backgrounds, and the relationships among them were both simple and complex.  But I fell in love with the show because of the numbers.  Texas Instruments (TI) partnered with CBS on TI’s math initiative, “We All Use Math Every Day” – affectionately referred to as WAUMED in math circles.  For the first three seasons of Numb3rs, TI posted math lessons online that were related to the actual math rules, laws and formulas used in the show’s episodes to solve crimes.  For the final three seasons of the series, CBS partnered with Wolfram Research, and you can still find math lessons for the full six seasons on that organization’s website.  Fun fact: Cornell University also picked up on the WAUMED initiative, and you can still find math lessons for the first five seasons of Numb3rs on Cornell’s website.  Numb3rs and its creators actually received a Public Service Award in 2007 from the National Science Board for their contributions toward increasing scientific and mathematical literacy on a broad scale.  And just what, you ask, does all of this have to do with RVing?  Give me a minute; I’m getting there.