It’s not often that mathematics makes an appearance on British TV so I was suprised to see it in Lewis, ITV’s follow up to the Inspector Morse series (see for example Lewis, and the Ghost of Inspector Morse and Newsnight Review).
Oxford University often appeared in the Morse programmes and this time in Lewis it featured a very bright student who had shown that a Fields’ medallist work on the Goldbach Conjecture was flawed, leading to all sorts of murders. Along the way we were shown what a perfect number was, as perfect numbers were used for passwords.
It’s a pity that the mathematics shown on one of the whiteboards was elementary coordinate geometry . The programme showed how much passion mathematics can arouse, though I wouldn’t have thought it has ever lead to murder!