Mathnet is an obvious take on the popular show Dragnet and was created as a segment of the Square One TV show. It features two detectives whose main tools are calculators and use math to solve mysteries. The original regulars included Kate Monday (Beverly Leech) and George Frankly (Joe Howard). Kate Monday was eventually replaced by Pat Tuesday (Toni DiBuono). Other regulars and semi-regulars included technical analyst Debbie Williams (Mary Watson), Chief Thad Green (James Earl Jones) and Captain Joe Greco (Emilio Del Pozo).
Concepts Used in the Mathnet Series
- Alphanumerics: A collection of letters and numbers, usually used to describe Latin letters and Arabic digits. The alphanumeric set includes digits 0-9 and the alphabet, A-Z.
- Kinematics: A field of classical mechanics that describes the motion of points, bodies and series of bodies without looking at the cause of the motion. It describes trajectories, velocity and acceleration.
- Chromatic scale: The musical scale used in most Western music, the chromatic scale refers to a series of 12 notes, each a half tone apart.
- Fluid Displacement: A measurement of the amount of fluid that is displaced when an object is placed in it. The amount can be used to measure the mass of an object.
- The Modular Fibonacci Sequence, Mode 5: A sequence of Fibonacci numbers in which the first 32 numbers repeat.
- Statistical Sampling: Used most often in statistics and surveys, statistical sampling selects a subset of a total population to represent the whole. This speeds up data collection and cuts down costs.
- Triangulation: Locating a point by measuring the angle to it from the known position of other points.
- Random Number Generation: A favorite of programming students, random number generation is simply the generation of numbers that don’t have any obvious pattern.
- Databases: Organized collections of related data. Familiar examples include Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, Access databases and SQL tables.
Using Math Can Be Exciting.
If you think Mathnet was just two stiff detectives punching on calculators, think again. The main characters faced all kinds of problems ranging from nearly getting blown up to being accused of theft. They were also believable people who had hobbies like SCUBA diving and model airplanes and also enjoyed occasional appearances by friends and family. They’re pretty much retired now but who knows. Maybe, someday, they’ll have a reunion to relive old times.