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The Twilight Saga: A Mathematical Perspective

Living in Los Angeles, it’s hard not to be aware of the fact that the new Twilight movie, Eclipse, arrives in theaters today. The series has developed an insatiable fan base of people willing to spend thousands of dollars to fly here in the hopes of scoring tickets to the premiere, which certainly indicates the film will be a success. But of course, the film’s success was never in question: with the first two movies having grossed over $1 billion worldwide, the success of this latest entry in the franchise is a foregone conclusion.

Of course, the success of this franchise should not be viewed in isolation, but as just a part of the larger vampire pop culture renaissance. HBO’s True Blood, also based on a book series involving a girl who knocks boots with the undead, is going strong into its . . . → Read More: The Twilight Saga: A Mathematical Perspective

Math Gets Around: Preventing the Zombie Apocalypse

If pop culture has taught us anything, it is that in the event of a zombie outbreak, we are royally screwed. When faced with an onslaught of classical zombies (of the type first made famous by Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead), films have shown again and again that we are no match for hordes of cannibalistic undead. With the more recent interpretation of zombies that are faster and smarter, our hopes for survival have diminished even further.

Despite overwhelming odds, however, it is not in our nature to simply roll over in the face of adversity. While the body count is usually high in films chronicling the eventual war between the living and the dead, in most cases there are a few who survive to continue the fight after the credits roll. But how realistic is this depiction? How prepared are we to . . . → Read More: Math Gets Around: Preventing the Zombie Apocalypse