Mathematics doesn't often take centre stage in popular culture, but that's certainly not the case with Tom Stoppard's clever play Arcadia. The drama unfolds across two time periods at an English estate, Sidley Park. Some acts take place in the 19th Century, with a flamboyant tutor, Septimus, teaching a brilliant young mathematician named Thomasina. In the present day, two scholars - writer Hannah Jarvis and literature professor Bernard Nightingale - visit Sidley Park to investigate two separate historical incidents.

Mathematics is just one of several themes in this multiple award-winning play, yet Stoppard draws heavily on recognised theorems and concepts such as Fermat's last theorem, chaos theory and the second law of thermodynamics. Notably, Thomasina discovers a link between functional iteration and functional geometry, a revelation that was not uncovered in real life until the second half of the 20th century.

Alex Kasman, Professor of Mathematics at the College of Charleston, believes one of Arcadia's strengths is that it uses accurate, real-life mathematics in a fictional setting. Showing Thomasina connecting functional iteration and functional geometry confirms her status as a genius to audience members who are familiar with mathematics, while introducing a fascinating topic in a novel way to laypeople.

Critics also celebrated Arcadia's portrayal of a female mathematician in a central role, helping to address gender issues in the field. Interestingly, Lord Byron - father of esteemed mathematician Ada Lovelace - is an offstage character in the play.

Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code is a thriller novel that reportedly sold more than 80 million copies worldwide, while inspiring a film with the same name that achieved one of the best box office opening weekends of all time. The book spent 166 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List - the seventh-longest run since the rankings began in 1931.

The Da Vinci Code's main protagonist is Harvard professor and symbologist Robert Langdon, who is called upon to assist with the murder investigation of Jacques Saunière, curator of The Louvre museum in Paris. The novel follows Langdon as he solves cryptic clues Saunière left before his death, uncovering clandestine organisations, revelations about Christianity and links to the Holy Grail during his search for the truth.

Cryptography features heavily in the novel, and Brown explains various mathematical concepts such as Fibonacci sequences and the Golden Ratio. The Da Vinci Code has received criticism for its historical and religious inaccuracies, but how do the mathematics hold up to scrutiny? On first appearances, relatively well - yet some discrepancies appear after scratching below the surface.

For example, Professor Langdon discusses the eerie presence of the Golden Ratio - or Phi - in multiple natural phenomena, including beehive populations, the spirals of nautilus shells and the arrangement of sunflower seeds. The omnipresence of Phi is a debated topic in mathematics circles, and analysis from the University of Notre Dame suggested the accuracy of the Da Vinci Code's examples are somewhat hit and miss.