The Math Problems from Good Will Hunting, w/ solutions

The purpose of this article is to narrate the reader through solutions to the two math problems solved by the fictional character Will in the 1997 Academy Award-winning movie Good Will Hunting. The narration is based largely on the excellent paper Mathematics in Good Will Hunting II: Problems from the Students Perspective by Horváth, Korándi and Szabó (2010). Happy reading!


Quickly summarized Good Will Hunting tells the story of the imaginary character Will Hunting, who despite his exceptional intelligence works asa janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. There, he one day spots a problem on blackboard in a hallway posed by a Fields Medal award-winning professor named Gerald Lambeau. Gifted with an eidetic memory, Will memorizes the problem and solves it on the mirror in his bathroom at home in South Boston. Back at MIT the next day, he can’t help himself but to provide his solution anonymously on the blackboard. Continue reading

Read the full essay in Cantor’s Paradise on Medium