A Math Life Film Screening
A very popular presentation was the film A Math Life, by Dartmouth mathematics professor Dan Rockmore, and documentary filmmakers Wendy Conquest and Bob Drake. The film, made with funding from the National Science Foundation and Dartmouth, will be shown in the spring on several PBS stations nationwide, but mathematicians got a sneak preview in Baltimore. Good Will Hunting provided the impetus for this film. At the time, people told Rockmore that it was a math movie, but he didn't agree so he set out to make a film about mathematics. Even though Good Will Hunting had "a slightly larger budget," Rockmore, Conquest and Drake were able to make the 50-minute documentary which features mathematicians from academia and industry explaining how they got interested in mathematics, what they do, and why they love what they do. Introducing the film, Rockmore pointed out that elementary school teachers and principals often tell him that their students love to do mathematics and he hoped that the film would "help the general public revisit the magic and fun they they had experienced" when they were younger. Rockmore has a website with more information about the film. The film screening was a joint AMS-MAA presentation.
--- Mike Breen, AMS Public Awareness Officer