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Creative Request: please help: How could a math superhero save the day?

  1. Jan 28, 2008 #1
    So for my vday present to my n3rdl0ve I am making him a comic book staring HIM.

    I am trying to think of some "Adventures of" my superhero boyfriend for the book and am drawing a creative blank. I am having problems because I don't know *that* much about mathematics so am having trouble applying what he does and thinking up plausible scenarios where he could use math or quantitative software engineering in a superhero type setting.

    (Think the "stand back, I know regular expressions!" comic from xkcd)

    I know in he uses contingency tables, is in charge of quantitative software and multiple algorithms, and loves probability theory and math stats.

    I am putting in some private jokes and stuff of adventures we've had together, but I also wanted to include some math type stuff and how he can use his "superpowers" of being a math nerd to save the day. :)

    So if anyone has any ideas, I would really really appreciate them

    thank you :)
    ps- i am making this "book" myself and it is just a present for him, so this will never be published or anything fyi
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2008 #2


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    Have you read all the comics from xkcd? This should be a good source of inspiration.
  4. Jan 28, 2008 #3
    yeah i have read most of them. :) i love them although do not always "get" them. i have a bunch of ideas, I guess I was looking for something pretty technical that he could do.
  5. Jan 28, 2008 #4


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    How about him conjugating the Hessians?

    Doesn't that make him into a hero?
  6. Jan 28, 2008 #5


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    Haha that's good.
  7. Jan 29, 2008 #6
    something along the lines of PI movie would be an overhead? like, he computes the magic number in his head that allows him to predict and change future events such as bad guys doing wrong stuff.
  8. Jan 30, 2008 #7

    Gib Z

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    Do it have to be a one liner, or a little story like comic strips?

    Some one in an accounting firm was doing a clients taxes, but tried to divide by zero! The paper with the complex tax mathematics starts to burn, engulfing the room with incorrect mathematical equations!!

    The [itex]\pi = 3[/itex] comes out, we know the end is near.

    But never fear!! Math nerd is here!!! He quickly scribbles down on a piece of paper a renormalization algorithm to correct the division by zero, and as he flies out, the equations correct themselves, the extra digits on pi start to reappear...All is well with the world.

    EDIT: Sorry, but this is fun!

    How about a futile math student is struggling and losing their fight against computing the evil one - [tex]\lim_{n\to \infty} (n!)^{1/n}[/tex]. The student scribbles down [tex]\infty^0[/tex] and begins to shed tears. The exam clock is ticking. Hope is being lost...

    Hold on! Who's that, in the sky? It's Math Nerd, giving Gravity a kick in the face!!! He rushes into the room, and uses one of his special abilities on the limit - Stirlings Formula!! The limit suddenly simplifies, but the battle isn't over yet!

    Suddenly, Epsilons and Deltas attack Math Nerd, demanding more and more rigor! But Math Nerd is up to the challenge, Handling the Epsilons and Deltas with ease. An A+ grade appears on the paper, and Math Nerd knows his work here is done. He flies off, awaiting the calls of more Math students in dire need of his assistance.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2008
  9. Jan 30, 2008 #8

    you are having waaay too much fun with this! :)

    want to be my coauthor? haha

    thank you for the ideas- the room filling up with wrong equations is actually REALLY cute.
  10. Feb 1, 2008 #9

    Gib Z

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    Ok well I'll PM you to do the first comic strip with you =]
  11. Feb 6, 2008 #10
    I see a spoof of "Numb3rs" coming up... :-)
  12. Feb 8, 2008 #11
    maybe it is also interesting how could there be an evil mathematician?

    "Look, batman, now I will convolute every citizen in Gotham"
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2008
  13. Feb 13, 2008 #12
    There were some idiots who tried to legislate that [tex]\pi = 3[/tex] in America some time ago. Which makes for a plausible plot with corrupt(and more importantly stupid)shadow government propoganda against Math N3rd(yeah NUMB3RS parody..)and his heroic efforts.
    On a serious note I've always found the idea of psychohistory(as per Asimov) appealing. It doesn't dictate determinism but it makes for engaging fiction- maybe even in a comic book!
    Oh and there's quantum theory; Math N3rd wrestles with the uncertainty theorem and sums over histories to evade a zero point singularity(sounds better than micro black holes from Enterprise) headed for Earth!
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