Skip to content # The Futurama Theorem

## Activity Guide

# This guide looks at the activity in detail and goes into the underlying math.

Grood, Cheryl. (2022). The Futurama Theorem. In S. Bowen (Ed.), Math Circle Activity Database. American Institute of Mathematics. https://mathcircles.org/activity/The-Futurama-Theorem

Contributor(s): Cheryl Grood

Math Circles: MTC Network, Philadelphia Area Math Teachers’ Circle

- Activity Description
- Topics Covered
- Session Styles
- Mathematical Practices

In the television show Futurama, Professor Farnsworth and Amy decide to try out their newly finished “Mind-Switcher” invention on themselves. When they try to switch back, they discover a key flaw in the machine’s design: it will not allow the same pair of bodies to be used in the machine more than once. Is there a way to restore their minds back to their original bodies?
The Futurama theorem is a real-life mathematical theorem invented by Futurama writer Ken Keeler (who holds a PhD in applied mathematics), purely for use in the Season 6 episode “The Prisoner of Benda”.