Hi everyone,

A while back I was asked to contribute an essay to a book on mathematics and popular culture. I’m pleased to announce that this book is now available for purchase! There are some great essays in this book – I’ll let you decide how mine stacks up with the rest – and it also features a foreword by Keith Devlin, a Stanford University mathematician who you may know as NPR’s Math Guy.

The price of entry is a little steep ($45), but if you’re someone interested in buying many copies (maybe you are a teacher, or maybe you just have a huge crush on David Krumholtz), I can get you a discount on bulk orders.

To whet your appetite, the title of my essay is *Counting with the Sharks: Math-Savvy Gamblers in Popular Culture*. Here’s the abstract:

While mathematicians in pop culture are often portrayed as misanthropic savants who may or may not be insane, films like

21have helped usher in a new stereotype: the math-whiz card shark. We explore the origin and development of this stereotype through films such asRain Manand21, as well as its appearance in TV shows such asNumb3rsand2 Months, $2 Million. We also discuss the pros and cons of this stereotype relative to the more traditional one.

In the coming months, I may use some of the other essays in this collection as a springboard for a couple of posts here. So stay tuned!