Science (Math) Study Break - Numb3rs

University of Texas at Austin
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About Science Study Break: Take a break from the books and join UT researchers for cookies, chips, and chat about popular movies and TV shows that deal with science topics.

Many viewers uncritically accept scientific information presented in movies or on TV. That may be good in the case of a medical organization broadening viewers’ knowledge by using entertainment-education—for example, embedding information about breast cancer in the storyline of a telenovela. But that may be bad when “science” unconsciously absorbed from popular programming affects citizens’ considerations of public policy issues.

In each program of this occasional series, you’ll hear faculty members discuss realms of scientific possibility, evaluate presentations of science in popular culture, or mercilessly mock bad science and worse screenwriting. You’ll also sharpen your Bad Science Detector and discover library resources you can use to check the facts.

Science Study Break occurs twice each semester.

Location: Life Science Library (MAI 220) -- Speaker: Dr. Michael Starbird, Department of Mathematics -- A crowd of NUMB3RS enthusiasts put Mardi Gras plans on hold to attend Science Math Study Break. They watched scenes from the popular TV show and heard Dr. Starbird's (Department of Mathematics) engaging presentation, which combined slides and audience participation exercises to help attendees better understand concepts such as randomness and probability.