Thursday 5 April 2018

So what have we learned?

Although we provided a fun marking scheme at the end of every episode we decided to actually plot our opinions in the following quality graphs. Horizontal axes provide a measure of quality of the film, whilst vertical axes provide a a measure of quality of the maths.

Our first graph illustrates all of our differing opinions. Each film has a different marker and the colour of each marker links to a particular person's tastes. 
We can clearly see that Interstellar was a favourite all round, whilst The Oxford Murders took a battering from all sides.

Equally, although Thomas and Ben agreed that Pi wasn't a good Liz seemed to enjoy it more than them (still not good, just not as bad!). Proof, was perhaps the most divisive amongst the team.

A couple of interesting points is that there are very few, if any, points in the Bad Film/Good Maths category, or the Good Film/ Bad Maths. This is, of course easy to explain. The Bad Film/Good Maths section would probably be inhabited by videos of mathematical lectures. Whilst, (good) non-science films would inhabit the Good Film/Bad maths quadrant.

Below we plot the average values of the above data in order to visualise the trends better.
What is most striking about this representation is that most of the films tend to cluster around The Line of Equal Quality. This means that a film portraying good maths is also likely to be a good film overall, equally, a film presenting poor maths is likely to be poor overall.

Again, this makes sense, as we have been focusing on such mathematical films, the mathematical content will be central to its subject matter. Thus, a lot of the films quality will rest upon the mathematics representation.

Of course the outlier from this theory is The Imitation Game. A gripping, if slightly embellished, story with actually very little mathematics presented.

So, ten movies later and what have we learned?

A good maths film has to present both good maths and a good film.

Yes, mathematicians are often known for stating the obvious!

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