I decided to create this page after seeing a presentation at the 2020 KYMATYC Conference on ‘Math in Media.’ Here I’m sharing things I learned during this session. I have also added some of my thoughts and items to the list. If you have any others that you think would be helpful to add to this list, please let me know!

Although I had used films before (see the list below), I hadn’t thought about using them to introduce topics in class or thought more about integrating them into discussion forums in online courses. The KYMATYC Session opened my eyes to a plethora of new ideas!

Semester |
Film |
Discussion Questions |

Fall 2018 | Fermat’s Last Theorem | Questions |

Winter 2018 | Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room | Questions |

Fall 2017 | The Big Short | |

Winter 2017 | The Man Who Knew Infinity | Questions |

Fall 2015 | N is A Number: Portrait of Paul Erdös | Questions |

Winter 2015 | 21 | Questions |

Fall 2014 | Good Will Hunting | Questions |

Winter 2014 | A Beautiful Mind | Questions |

Fall 2013 | Proof | Questions |

Winter 2013 | Stand and Deliver | Questions |

**Items from the KYMATYC Conference**

Film |
Topic/Usage |

RHIANNA What’s My Name | Lyrics say, “the square root of 69 is 8 something.” Use to introduce linear approximation. |

Time-Lapse of Baby Learning to Walk | Ask students why they are being shown the video. Show that learning requires falling down and major change takes time. Good for use in an online class discussion forum. |

Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) – Trash Compactor | Squeeze Theorem |

L’enfant et les sortilèges | Arithmetic (see here for details) |

What’s our vector, Victor? | Vectors |

Back to the Future Model Scene | Introduce Modeling. What is modeling and why do we use it? |

Dr Seuss’ The Sneetches Full Version | Functions, Domain, Range, Inverses |

Clarke and Dawe – The Front Fell Off | Related Rates |

The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch) | Parallel and Perpendicular lines; triangles |

Father of the Bride – Hot Dogs/Hot Dog Buns | Least Common Multiples |

Ma & Pa Kettle Math | Arithmetic, Counting, Multiplying |

OCC vs Metric System | Fractions, Systems of Measurement |

The Log Song – Ren & Stimpy | Logarithms |

Sir Cumference and The First Round Table | “Sir Cumference” is a series of Math books. This is just a reading of one of them. |

**Other Items I’ve Collected Since**

Film |
Topic/Usage |

“The Way Back” Trailer | Basketball Statistics |

Working together to make things happen: JP Cardoso at TEDxBrainport |
Importance of Groupwork |

The Math People Myth | Nate Brown | TEDxPSU | |

How likely is a shark attack? – Gerd Gigerenzer | TED-Ed | Probability and Likelihood |

AWESOME ALGEBRA MUSIC VIDEO | y=mx + b (catchiest song you’ll ever hear) |

Because I said I would Personal Development Videos | Time Management, etc. |

Exponential growth and epidemics | Exponential Growth |

MSNBC host, New York Times journalist make huge on-air maths blunder | Arithmetic; basic math |

TED-Ed – Where do Math Symbols come from? | |

TED-Ed – The greatest mathematician that never lived – Pratik Aghor |

**Other Items of Interest**

My Thoughts on Using TED Talks in the Classroom

Jeff Clark’s Math in the Movies

MAA’s Math in the Movies

Mathematics in Movies (Harvard)

Math and the Movies (with worksheets)

Math in Movies (Don Allen, TAMU)

10 Best Math Movies

13 must-see mathematics movies inspired by true events

The Mathematical Movie Database

My Math Movie Picks (Harbourne, UNL)

Talks for people who hated math in high school

Resources from “Math and the Movies” by Dr. Joseph Teran (2021 National Math Fest Presentation) – Who made the ocean flow in “Moana”? Who made the snow swirl in “Frozen”? Mathematicians, that’s who! While this talk about the math behind the magic of modern movie visual effects was not recorded due to copyrighted content, Dr. Teran shared some additional guidance for students interested in pursuing a career in this field. In addition, we’ve added several free resources to learn more in our More Math! collection.