About this project
Stephanie Glen is a creative writer and mathematician. She has taught statistics and mathematics at the college level since 2006. She has authored several mathematical textbooks and self-help books and runs the popular website www.statisticshowto.com.
Anthony Ahynte Heard is a professional graphic designer. He's also a talented performer and runs the popular "Verbal Essence" poetry spot at Three Layers cafe.
Jamie Armstrong is director of photography. He's worked on more big TV and movie projects than we could possible squeeze into this space. He's also a longstanding member of the Mad Cowford improv comedy troupe.
Christina Diaz is our creative director. She's cooking up some incredible sets for the show and for our One Spark event space!
Our amazing intern Janet Harper is a skilled newspaper editor and she's pretty amazing at make-up too.
Our resident Musican is Kasan Da' Julah. Soundtrack for the Kickstarter video by Kevin MacLeod.
I hated math as a kid.
I dreaded having to take math in college. I took the bare minimum, just like most of my fellow students and I detested every minute.
So when it came to choosing my graduate degree, I chose mathematics. Why? I figured if I could tackle the subject that I feared the most, then I'd be able to conquer anything. After a couple of semesters of throwing my textbooks in the trash more than once (and bawling in my advisor's office), something magical happened -- I GOT math. I came to appreciate it and (almost) fell in love with it. Not only did I graduate with my masters, I went on to complete two more years in mathematics education. I understood math, and it became really clear to me why everyone thinks that math sucks.
We're teaching it all wrong.
Bill Nye taught kids that science is FUN. He showed them the EXPLOSIONS first and then the kids went to school to learn WHY things exploded. Kids learn about dinosaurs and amoeba and weird ocean life to make them go “wow”. But what about math? You probably remember the dreaded worksheets. Ugh.
But math is actually MUCH more exciting than it's given credit for. If you think math is all about worksheets and numbers, you've got it all wrong. That's like saying that chemistry is all about beakers and pipettes. Did you know that the Genesis Effect in "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan" was built with fractal geometry? Or that Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid of Giza and a myriad of other famous buildings were created using the golden ratio (a special number equal to 1.618)? Or that The Mona Lisa was painted with it?
But that's not the really cool stuff. It's a little known fact that nearly all the math we use today came from exotic locations. Take binary code for example – that’s the math that runs computer chips. It was invented by the Bambara tribe in Mali, Africa thousands of years ago and it's still used in villages today. Can you imagine how powerful it would be for inner-city schoolchildren to know that the math they are learning is a part of their heritage?
We've got ideas for a season of 12 episodes lined up. Each episode introduces one topic in mathematics and explores it in an original, adventurous way – covering every corner of the planet. What Bill Nye did for Science, we're going to do for math. Throw in a little "Crocodile Hunter" (we're going to be exploring in hunting gear and speaking with Aussie-esque accents) and you've got The Number Hunter. Here are three episodes we're writing right now::
I: Roots Takes us to Africa, where the origin of binary code is traced to a village in Mali.
II: American Pi Explores America’s fascination with the number pi, from a man who had the first 100 digits of pi tattooed on his arm to the supercomputers finding the sixty-trillionth digit of pi.
III: Score! Showcases how math is used extensively in sports around the globe, from crowd control at Wembley Stadium in London to drafting players for the NFL.
But as you can imagine, shooting a TV show -- even one that's initially going to be web-based -- is a huge financial undertaking. We need thousands of dollars just to shoot one episode. We need YOUR help to shoot a short, five-minute promo video for The Number Hunter to showcase at One Spark in Jacksonville, Florida in April 2013 , where we're hoping to raise the funds to get the season off the ground. We’ve got a team of creators ready to create, shoot and edit in mid-March and we need funds for renting camera and lighting equipment, external mikes, paying our cameramen, purchasing a Mac, props, and costumes for our promo video and One Spark show.
Risks and challenges
The weather might not cooperate with us during the one day shoot, which means we'll have to raise the funds for a second day of shooting. We've got alternative locations lined up should that happen to try and avoid the expense of the extra day. That said, we're willing to chip in our rent checks to make the second day shoot happen if all else fails! Also, the promo might not result in enough funding to shoot an entire season, so we're prepared to take it one show at a time, perhaps even being spaced months apart.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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