Math-Themed Movies to Motivate You
In honor of the upcoming weekend, I decided to devote this entry to some great math-themed movies that you can watch the next time you need a break from your GRE studies. Giving yourself time off is important, and there’s no reason that you can’t use that time to let some of these classic (and not-so-well-known) stories characters inspire you to knock your next study session out of the park.
In no particular order, here are my recommendations:
- 21: Several MIT students are trained to count cards, and go to Las Vegas to win millions playing blackjack. I’m always a fan of Kevin Spacey, who places a professor, and hey – you may come away from this movie with a completely new, very valuable skill set that you can take on your next trip to Vegas.
- Moneyball: While everyone who saw this movie focused on Brad Pitt (understandably so), there was a lot of fun discussion about how to use math to cut through bias and human, error-prone perception. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll enjoy this baseball-themed movie. If you’re not a sports fan, don’t worry – it has Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in it, and is very well-written.
- Fermat’s Room: This Spanish movie is about several mathematicians who are trapped together in a room and forced to solve “enigmas” or risk being killed as the room becomes increasingly small, all while trying to determine who is trying to kill them – it’s a combination of “Clue” and the scene from Star Wars in which Luke Skywalker & company are trapped in the Death Star’s garbage compactor. At the very least, it’ll make you feel better about the fact that the GRE testing room won’t close on in you if you get an incorrect answer!
- Good Will Hunting: Matt Damon as a math prodigy who, with the guidance of mentor –therapist Robin Williams, must decide what to make of his life. Certainly a good pick-me-up for anyone who is at a crossroads (as many who are applying to grad school are!), but be warned: You might come out of this movie speaking with a Boston accent.
These are just a sampling of some of the great movies that you can use to motivate you in your GRE prep – what are your favorite math-themed movies? Let us know in the comments!