Fourteen years after its premiere, Futurama has finally come to to an end – again. After four seasons of neglect on the FOX network, the brilliant animated sci-fi comedy was cancelled in 2003, then rode a wave of fan goodwill to resurrection in a series of DVD movies and two seasons on Comedy Central before its series finale in September. The beloved series will live on in an extensive network of Wikis, subreddits, and memes, but according to physicist and math enthusiast Simon Singh in his latest book, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secret, the show’s most impressive legacy is its celebration of mathematics.
Longtime readers know how deep the numerical references go on Futurama. The highly educated writing team features no less than three former Simpsons writers with Ph.Ds – Ken Keeler, Jeff Westbrook, and Bill Odenkirk – who packed episodes with math and science content far more freely than they did on that other animated series. Two months after the show’s finale, WIRED spoke to Singh and Futurama executive producer and head writer David X. Cohen about Futurama’s legacy, mathematical and otherwise….
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