Studying should not be a daunting task but rather a fun endeavor that kids enjoy and if done right that is exactly what it’ll be. Mathematics is not every kid’s favorite. Some, in fact, struggle a lot with the subject. Helping them develop an interest in the matter then can really help motivate them and learn better and what better way to get their minds curious about it than movies?
Storytelling plays an important part in getting people to engage in and understand concepts. With great films mixing fiction and non-fiction to tell tales of math heroes that changed the world, learning math will become fun for even the staunchest haters. If you’re wondering where to start, here’s a list of movies that you simply can’t go wrong with. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
The Man Who Knew Infinity
Release Year: 17 September 2015
Cast: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Devika Bhise, Toby Jones, Stephen Fry, Jeremy Northam, Kevin McNally, Enzo Cilenti, and others.
The movie begins with the point that changed Srinivasa Ramanujan’s life forever. The self-trained mathematical virtuoso drops out of school to pursue his passion and to do this he contacts Professor GH Hardy whom he believes can help him. Thus, he sets off to Trinity College where the two work together. Their approach to the subject however is very different. While Hardy insists on mathematical proofs and demands evidence for the hypothesis proposed, Ramanujan is more insistent on working with his instincts rather work on proofs.
IMDb Rating: 7.2 / 10
Stand and Deliver
Release Year: 13 February 1988
Cast: Edward James Olmos, Estelle Harris, Virginia Paris, Will Gotay, Ingrid Oliu, Carmen Argenziano, Rosanna DeSoto, Vanessa Marquez, Lou Diamond Phillips, Lydia Nicole, James Victor, Mark Eliot, Patrick Baca, Andy García, and others.
Escalante, played in the film by Edward James Olmos, is faced with a raucous class that he must get under control, else face the wrath of his bosses. On the other hand, he finds himself hassled by students. So, what does he do?
Well, he gets them busy doing by immersing them in higher math and what do you know? They’re great at it. In fact, they ace California’s calculus test. Now the only thing they must do is shut the critics that suspect foul play. A great story of a great teacher, this film is a must-watch.
IMDb Rating: 7.3 / 10
Release Year: 5 September 2014
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Rafe Spall, Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Jo Yang, Jake Davies, Alexa Davies, Martin McCann, Alex Lawther, Edward Baker-Close, and others.
People with autism have it hard but Asa Butterfield proves the world wrong with his remarkable grasp of mathematics. Based on the math prodigy Daniel Lightwing who had Autism Spectrum Disorder, this movie follows his struggles showing you the determination and hard work he puts in to climb the ladder and emerge atop the 2006 International Mathematics Olympiad.
IMDb Rating: 7.1 / 10
A Beautiful Mind
Release Year: 13 December 2001
Cast: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Josh Lucas, Anthony Rapp, Jason Gray-Stanford, Judd Hirsch, Austin Pendleton, Vivien Cardone, Killian, Christian, Daniel Coffinet-Crean, and others.
A human dramatization of the celebrated John Forbes Nash Jr., A Beautiful Mind is based on a book by Sylvia Nasar. This math genius found success early in his career but life wasn’t as kind and he soon found himself struggling to get a grasp on reality. Filled with suspense, this movie is beautifully narrated and keeps your mind engaged and intrigued.
IMDb Rating: 8.2 / 10
The Imitation Game
Release Year: 29 August 2014
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, James Northcote, Tom Goodman-Hill, Steven Waddington, Ilan Goodman. Jack Tarlton, Alex Lawther, Jack Bannon, Tuppence Middleton, James G. Nunn
Alan Turing’s contribution changed the course of history. This British mathematician, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, joins a cryptography group working to decode the German enigma code. With the help of fellow mathematicians though he finally cracks the master code and devises a machine that can break the codes. You’d think this brilliance would land him accolades but unfortunately, the revelation of his gay nature puts him in prison. A tragedy you can’t help but watch, this film is sure to make you ugly cry.
IMDb Rating: 8/ 10
Release Year: 21 November 2011
Cast: Ed Stoppard, Henry Goodman, Paul McGann
If you find yourself interested in Turing’s life, you must check out this documentary. It starts off from October 1952, after the math genius has been convicted. He is shown talking to Dr. Franz Greenbaum, his psychiatrist, with whom he slowly opens up. He is also helped in his understanding of Turing’s mental health by nephew Sir Dermot Turing and David Leavitt. You get to get to know about the major events in his life and what made him, him. Well executed, this film is just as interesting as it is informative.
IMDb Rating: 7/ 10
Making math (or STEM subjects) visual goes past understudy commitment; cerebrum research demonstrates it to be fundamental to learning math. So, what are you waiting for? All you need is a good cable TV plan to get the fun started. Spectrum Silver channels include all the popular movie channels in its lineup so if you don’t have it already, get the Silver plan and you’ll be good to go. Exposure to such educational material is sure to help students be able to see and associate with mathematical ideas better and with Spectrum there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of these tools.