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Make Mathematics Sexy, Smart and Desirable

CSI has driven so many people into forensics that colleges have started whole new programs because of it -- can we do the same for the rest of science?
- Aaron Swartz's thoughts on Science Foo Camp 2007

Agreed. Movie and TV shows can bring a career path into the limelight and the focus of popular opinion - This newspaper article noted that undergraduates studying forensic or archaeological science have increased more than 30% since the introduction of shows like the CSI series.

However, it seems to be that not all publicity is good publicity as a educational promotional tool. Ever noticed how mathematicians are always portrayed as a little ... strange?

Despite the show Numb3rs, which features a mathematician using mathematics to solve high-profile crimes, it nevertheless portrays the protanganist as socially awkward (but hey, then again, he gets the girl). This follows in the same vein as A Beautiful Mind and Good Will Hunting. The result is a job in which people envy for its social status ("he's such a genius, I wish I was as smart as him"), but is simulatenously not desirable ("oh, I don't want to seem like such a freak").

Can we have a show with a sexy, smart (is this adjective redundant?) and desirable mathematician?

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