- 23 Jun '13 20:00 / 2 editsAs anyone who's spent enough time in the real world of mathematics

probably could attest, the film 'Good Will Hunting' lacks realism (in various

ways) in showing life in a major university mathematics department and the

nature of advanced mathematical research. And having a working-class

Irish-American hero as a self-taught mathematical genius would appeal to

a sought-after Hollywood demographic, but in real life it would seem less

likely than having this prodigy be, for instance, Chinese or a Russian Jew.

By the way, Ramanujan never enjoyed a romance with a young white

Englishwoman. Perhaps if there were a time machine for Ruth Lawrence... - 23 Jun '13 20:13

The movie was fiction (not believable) for entertainment, not a documentary.*Originally posted by Duchess64***As anyone who's spent enough time in the real world of mathematics**

probably could attest, the film 'Good Will Hunting' lacks realism (in various

ways) in showing life in a major university mathematics department and the

nature of advanced mathematical research. And having an working-class

Irish-American hero as a self-taught mathematical genius would ...[text shortened]... with a young white

Englishwoman. Perhaps if there were a time machine for Ruth Lawrence... - 23 Jun '13 20:17

I already knew that 'Good Will Hunting' was not a documentary about*Originally posted by moon1969***The movie was fiction (not believable) for entertainment, not a documentary.**

life in a real university mathematics department. My earlier post was

written in response to this claim by the original poster:

"This is supposed to be fiction, but I think Good Will Hunting had it right."

--Bill718 - 23 Jun '13 20:22

As a theoretical physicist I often have to explain that the characters in*Originally posted by Duchess64***As anyone who's spent enough time in the real world of mathematics**

probably could attest, the film 'Good Will Hunting' lacks realism (in various

ways) in showing life in a major university mathematics department and the

nature of advanced mathematical research. And having an working-class

Irish-American hero as a self-taught mathematical genius would ...[text shortened]... with a young white

Englishwoman. Perhaps if there were a time machine for Ruth Lawrence...*The Big Bang Theory*don't accurately portray theoretical physicists. - 23 Jun '13 20:48

Good point. I think it in the realm possibility that a mathematical genius could arise from South Boston, but some of the math stuff in the movie seemed like fictional gibberish, but I am no mathematician.*Originally posted by Duchess64***I already knew that 'Good Will Hunting' was not a documentary about**

life in a real university mathematics department. My earlier post was

written in response to this claim by the original poster:

"This is supposed to be fiction, but I think Good Will Hunting had it right."

--Bill718 - 23 Jun '13 21:06 / 1 edit

There's a realistic scene about mathematics near the beginning of the*Originally posted by moon1969***Good point. I think it in the realm possibility that a mathematical genius could arise from South Boston, but some of the math stuff in the movie seemed like fictional gibberish, but I am no mathematician.**

1980 film, "It's My Turn", starring Jill Clayburgh as a mathematics professor.

This film must have had a qualified technical consultant because her lecture

on algebra (graduate school level algebra, not US high school algebra) was

correct. And the behaviour of the argumentative graduate student (whom

did he remind me of?) seemed quite realistic in that scene. After having

established that Jill Clayburgh's character was a mathematics professor,

however, the film then completely ignored mathematics in favour of paying

attention to her romantic or sexual life.

When I watched this film, I noticed that the man (a mathematician) next

to me seemed to be fantasizing about becoming intimate with Jill Clayburgh

rather than just 'staying in the moment', yet he quickly forgot about her. - 24 Jun '13 16:59 / 1 edit

But the clip specifically highlighted by the OP was not about a university mathematics department, but was, rather, a comment on US political engagement with the outside world. Do you have any comments on that clip?*Originally posted by Duchess64***As anyone who's spent enough time in the real world of mathematics**

probably could attest, the film 'Good Will Hunting' lacks realism (in various

ways) in showing life in a major university mathematics department and the

nature of advanced mathematical research. - 24 Jun '13 17:22

He did appear on the program in person. Sheldon had him read his paper and Hawking pointed out Sheldon made a simple mathematical error which was embarrassing for him.*Originally posted by KazetNagorra***He was mentioned, but I don't think he appeared in person. My girlfriend likes the show so I watch it with her sometimes.** - 25 Jun '13 23:10

What does this have to do with the character's cynical view of US foreign policy?*Originally posted by Duchess64***As anyone who's spent enough time in the real world of mathematics**

probably could attest, the film 'Good Will Hunting' lacks realism (in various

ways) in showing life in a major university mathematics department and the

nature of advanced mathematical research. And having a working-class

Irish-American hero as a self-taught mathematical genius would a ...[text shortened]... with a young white

Englishwoman. Perhaps if there were a time machine for Ruth Lawrence... - 29 Jun '13 18:40

Sometimes genius arises from unlikely places. It is just as possible to arise from an Irish ghetto as from former slaves.*Originally posted by moon1969***Good point. I think it in the realm possibility that a mathematical genius could arise from South Boston, but some of the math stuff in the movie seemed like fictional gibberish, but I am no mathematician.**