Morning Mathematical Monsters & Maniacs!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing mathematical journey involving fractions, probability, Fermat’s last theorem, and hundreds of other aspects from the wonderful world off mathematics.
And what better way to start your week, then by discussing math Monday morning?
This week we look at the constant e, also known as Euler’s number.
In The Fight Before Christmas (Season 22, Episode 08), the Christmas episode is structured similar to the structure of the Treehouse of Horror episodes, only that it is divided in four stories instead of three – Bart’s story, Lisa’s story, Marge’s story, and Maggie’s story.
In Maggie’s story, Maggie has a muppet dream with all our favourite characters appearing as muppet versions of themselves, and joined by Moe’s new girlfriend Katy Perry.
Following in the footsteps of another muppet show, the episode concluded with”
“Tonight’s Simpsons episode was brought to you by the symbol umlaut, and the number e. Not the letter e, but the number, whose exponential function is the derivative of itself.”
Scottish mathematician John Napier (1 February 1550 – 4 April 1617) first referenced the constant, which was published posthumously in 1618. However, it was Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (15 April 1707 – 18 September 1783) who first used the constant e in a letter to German mathematician Christian Goldbach on November 25th 1731.
The constant e = 2.71828182845904523536028747135266249775724709369995…
There are numerous ways it can be calculated:
It is the unique base for which the constant of proportionality is 1, so that the function’s derivative is itself.
It can be calculated as the sum of an infinite series using our favourite mathematical topic of factorials:
e = 1 / 0! + 1 / 1! + 1 / 2! + 1 / 3! + …
e = 1 / 1 + 1 / 1 + 1 / (1 x 2) + 1 / (1 x 2 x 3) + …
While a lot more can be said about Euler’s number, I am going to enjoy my vacation and end it here. So in the mean time, why not show your love for math and probability with your own Math Mayhem shirt or hoodie.
If you love math or enjoy reading these posts, don’t forget to stop by the Addicts Shop and check out all the paraphernalia, including the Math Mayhem shirts and hoodies.
Were you familiar with Euler’s number? What’s your favourite constant? Do you recall the episode featuring the constant? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.