An Amazing Story about a Futurama Writer’s Applied Math Skills

In mathematics, a theorem is a statement that is not self-evident but has been proved by a chain of reasoning making use of supposed self-evident truths. As a result, a lot of theorems can be summed up as being something along the lines of: if A, then B. In further detail, this means that if A is a true statement whether it is true or not, then B must be a true statement as well as an inevitable consequence of that fact. However, it is important to note that theorems can take on other forms, which is something for interested individuals to look further into on their own.

What Is the Futurama Theorem?

Regardless, it is entertaining to note that there is a mathematical theorem called the Futurama Theorem, which is as most people would expect, called thus because it came into existence because of Futurama. It stands out because it is the first theorem known to have been created for the purpose of providing entertainment on a TV show. However, a lot of people will find its exact content to be much more memorable.

First, the Futurama Theorem is based on an assumed scenario in which a mind switching machine has been created but comes with a significant limitation in that it cannot switch the minds of two bodies once it has been used to switch the minds of those two bodies on a previous occasion. The theorem proves that no matter the number of people who have had their minds switched by the mind switching machine, the minds can be returned to their initial bodies so long as there are two extra people who have not had their minds switched on a previous occasion. Suffice to say that while this is not something that would see practical use under normal circumstances in real life, it is nonetheless interesting.

How Did the Futurama Theorem Come to Be?

The Futuram Theorem came into existence because of Ken Keeler, who was one of the writers on the TV show. Given the existence of the theorem, it should come as no surprise to learn that Keeler has a PhD in applied mathematics, which he put to excellent use in an episode called The Prisoner of Benda on the TV show. According to Keeler, the inclusion of the Futuram Theorem was meant to make mathematics more popular with the viewers, which is a laudable goal.

In short, The Prisoner of Benda saw Professor Farnsworth completing a mind switching machine with some help from Amy so that the two of them can switch minds for a short period of time. This is because Professor Farnsworth wants to be able to do extreme sports in a younger, healthier body, whereas Amy wants to be able to eat as much as she wants without ruining her figure in the process. Unfortunately, the two fail to realize the mind switching machine’s limitation before they make use of it, which soon results in a bigger mess when they start getting the other characters involved in an attempt to return to their original bodies. Fortunately for the victims of the mind switching machine, Bubblegum Tate and Sweet Clyde of the Globetrotters are able to come up with the mathematical theorem proving how they can solve the problem, thus restoring everyone to their initial bodies.

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