A fractal film noir uses a dark narrative to help teach math

What fun! Elmo teaches math in dark, animated short!

TED Blog

The TED-Ed Lesson “The case of the missing fractals” isn’t just an introduction to the intricate and beautiful world of fractal geometry; it’s also a fully-realized film noir short complete with plot, drama and a smattering of ridiculous puns. This cinematic creation is the product of a TED-Ed dream team, with writing by veteran TED-Ed Educators George Zaidan and Alex Rosenthal (watch their lesson “Exploring other dimensions“) and animation by our own TED-Ed Animation Producer Jeremiah Dickey (watch his lesson, “A brief history of religion in art“). We met up with this trio to talk about the process of approaching an educational lesson with a narrative eye.

Why did you want to cover fractals? How did you come up with the idea for this lesson? 

Alex Rosenthal: I started working on this when the previous lesson that George and I worked on together, which was about Flatland, premiered. A lot…

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