Gifted (2017)
ReviewerAutar Kaw
Grade: B
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 101 minutes

Gifted is a movie about an uncle raising an academically gifted orphaned niece in a regular environment to let her be a kid as long as she can.  However, her rich maternal grandmother has other plans – take the custody of the niece away from her son of low means by using the family court, and then use the prodigy to solve the millennium problem of the existence and smoothness of the Navier-Stokes equation (My wife asked me if I know how to solve Navier-Stokes equation.  I answered affirmatively that I used it in undergraduate and graduate fluids mechanics courses – I simply assume the parts that I cannot calculate to be zero, and the solution then falls into place very nicely).

Gifted is just a Hallmark movie on steroids and the presence of Chris Evans makes the lasses swoon, while Octavia Spencer gives her best as the concerned neighbor but has a limited on-screen time.   It is not a bad movie – you will laugh one moment and cry the next, but you will know where it is going next.

PS. I do not know how many of you will recognize the above integral – it is the normal distribution function.  It can be solved exactly only if the upper limit of integration is infinity.  To find the exact solution, one has to write it as a double integral and transform the coordinates to polar.

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Autar Kaw

Autar Kaw ( is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. He has been at USF since 1987, the same year in which he received his Ph. D. in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University. He is a recipient of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award. With major funding from NSF, he is the principal and managing contributor in developing the multiple award-winning online open courseware for an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods. The OpenCourseWare ( annually receives 1,000,000+ page views, 1,000,000+ views of the YouTube audiovisual lectures, and 150,000+ page views at the NumericalMethodsGuy blog. His current research interests include engineering education research methods, adaptive learning, open courseware, massive open online courses, flipped classrooms, and learning strategies. He has written four textbooks and 80 refereed technical papers, and his opinion editorials have appeared in the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.

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