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Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross

**Phase IV (1974)**

Some ants become intelligent and start exterminating their natural enemies. The biologist Hubbs recommends to destroy them before they become a threat and hires a mathematician James Lesko to help him.

3:00

LESKO: While I was playing around with number theory at the university, Hubbs
was on to something

9:20

Hubbs recommendation for Personell: plus one associate, a qualified information
scientist with cryptological background. I have been impressed with the recent
work by J.R. Lesko.

12:00

HUBBS: You did your major work applying game theory to the language of killer
whales.

25:00

LESKO: You see I get to the parameters of the problem by breaking down the vector
of a single ant unit.

26:00

LESKO: I come up with a positive correlation on the order of 80 percent between
this little squiggle and the command we commonly know as `stop’ and a
positive correlation between this little squiggle and `go’. This means
that these little mothers speak to each other.

45:00

Girl (Kendra): What are you doing here?

LESKO: A little research into statistical probabilities.

1:01:00

Lesko is sending a message to the ants - a square. Very strange instructions
to produce a square.

Go straight 6 units, right 120 degrees 4 units right 60 degrees 4 units right
120 degrees 6 units.

HUBBS: This is no message.

LESKO: Mathematics is the universal language among intelligent creatures. If
there is an intelligence there, I want it to know that there is an intelligence
here.

Instructions to the plotter are weird.

Earlier on square in the field.

1:11:06

Receiving back a message. Circle with a dot in it.