Plus Advent Calendar Door #16: The travelling salesman

Share this page
Travelling Salesman poster

The travelling salesman is one of our favourite mathematical movies. It's a tense thriller revolving around one of the most difficult open problems in maths, the P vs NP problem, and its potential to deliver the key to the world's most secret messages. Most of the movie is set in a single room, a secret government location, where four mathematicians are being debriefed as their highly classified project has been completed. An unexpected by-product of their work is a method for cracking the codes used to encrypt classified messages, giving rise to an intense debate between the mathematicians. Will their work be used for evil, by governments (or worse) to spy on all our communications and data? Would keeping it secret hamper medical advances and scientific discoveries that could be a force for good? The result is an intelligent movie full of suspense that takes maths, as well as mathematicians, seriously. Visit the movie's website for download or instant streaming.

To read about other mathematically inspired movies, read Maths, madness and movies.

Return to the Plus Advent Calendar

Read more about...