Skip to content# The Futurama Theorem

**Classifications**

Author(s): Cheryl Grood

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”.

Topics covered: Combinatorics

Mathematical practices: MP1 – Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

Supporting materials: Facilitator Guides, References

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