Caltech Associates Discover Math in Primetime from Dr. Gary Lorden
Valerie Hoffman, Donna Mettler, Dr. Gary Lorden, and his wife Louise enjoy the hosted reception at the Regency Club in Los Angeles
Numb3rs, a television show on CBS, is based on the idea that crime can be solved using mathematical methods. The main character is a young genius mathematics professor at “Cal Sci”, an institute based on Caltech, who helps his FBI brother solve complicated cases using calculations, equations, and numbers.
“I was thrilled to see the show approach Caltech,” says Lorden. He finds it remarkable that Numb3rs depicts “math as not only interesting, but actually cool and sexy. It also does a good job of showing the reality of being stuck on problems and suffering along the way to finding a solution.”
Lorden’s role is to implement accurate mathematical techniques such as cryptography, number theory, and statistics in solving the shows crimes. He reviews scripts for mathematical authenticity, and helps create math or physics concepts and equations that provide the mathematical background to what is happening in the show.
“It is so interesting to see how much work Dr. Lorden has done for Numb3rs, and how much he really seems to enjoy it,” said Caltech Associates member and Beverly Hills resident Joan Seidel. “I’ve been a fan of the show since it began, and I love knowing that the show was based on Caltech.”
Guests of the Caltech Associates dinner enjoyed listening to the behind-the-scenes stories from Lorden throughout the evening. He described the process of creating mathematical equations to solve the shows’ crimes and how Numb3rs portrays these equations and their solutions. The Associates were able to ask Lorden questions about his work and his book, The Numbers Behind NUMB3RS: Solving Crime with Mathematics. The evening was completed with a wonderfully prepared 3-course meal, and an impromptu concert where Lorden and his wife, Louise, played the piano and sang for the guests.
To learn more about the Caltech Associates, and how you can attend an event or lecture please visit http://associates.caltech.edu/ or contact at 626-395-3919.
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About the Associates: Founded in 1926, the Associates is a support organization for the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) with over 1,475 members throughout the United States and abroad - a diverse cross section of members of the local & business community, Caltech alumni and faculty, and philanthropists.
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