The Math Problem in ‘Good Will Hunting’ Explained… Simply

The math problem Matt Damon‘s Will Hunting solves near the beginning of Good Will Hunting looks incredibly daunting to us commoners. I mean, what are all those lines and dots and how is that math? If it took the professors at MIT more than two years to prove it how did Will do it in-between mopping the floor?

Well, as it turns out it’s not as hard as it looks, though it is certainly hard enough to understand what the actual problem means. In fact, after watching the video below (via Slate) it seems the problem is almost more of a riddle than math, though Dr. James Grime doesn’t explain the real world application of homeomorphically irreducible trees, which apparently aren’t really math, but graph theory.


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