Christopher Nolan's caped crusader has been gracing Times Square this month in celebration of the iconic character's 75th birthday. It's not the first time filmmaker Nolan has brought Batman to our shores - his 2008 movie The Dark Knight features a full 10 minutes of footage filmed in the Fragrant Harbour (although not in the actual water - it was deemed too polluted for the stuntman to fall into). Nolan, whose films have grossed in excess of US$3.5 billion, didn't even study cinema - he read English literature at University College London. In the 1880s, UCL became known for its early embrace of female students, and joining Nolan on the roll call of notable alumni is statistician Kirstine Smith … Born in 1878, the Danish mathematician earned her doctorate at UCL, where her tutor described her as "brilliant". After doing some very clever stuff with numbers, Smith went on to work as secretary to astronomer Thorvald Thiele, before publishing several books on fish populations. She was later hired by the Carlsberg Laboratory, an institution dedicated to biochemical research founded by brewery proprietor Jacob Christian Jacobsen … The entrepreneur established the now ubiquitous beer brand Carlsberg - which he named after his son, Carl - at the age of 33, having recognised the scope for a science-based, industrialised brewery. Jacobsen was also involved with what is considered to be the first political party in Denmark, the National Liberal Party, which was instrumental in founding the country's constitution and consisted of stalwarts such as Ditlev Gothard Monrad … A key figure in shaping early Danish politics, in 1864 Monrad abandoned his native country when it became engulfed in the second war of Schleswig. Upon his arrival in the newfound lands of New Zealand, he bought up chunks of land and started over as a farmer. While helping to establish a Danish settlement in his adopted homeland, Monrad's new life was rocked by an uprising of indigenous Maori, led by Riwha Titokowaru … The legendary chief was an anti-colonialist who valiantly fought the British. Later in life he would become a pacifist, advocating understanding between the indigenous population and the settlers. He died in prison, having been jailed in 1886 for taking part in a peaceful but illegal occupation of land. Titokowaru would have been all but forgotten had it not been for the efforts of historian James Belich. The Maori was also the subject of a Maurice Shadbolt novel, Monday's Warriors , and provided the inspiration for the character Te Kai Po in 2005 film River Queen , starring Kiefer Sutherland … The Canadian actor earned the accolade of being the highest paid lead on television, raking in US$40 million for three seasons of cliffhanger crime-drama 24 . Early in his career, Sutherland was flatmates with Ironman actor Robert Downey Jnr, but unlike his former roomy, he missed his place in the superhero hall of fame, when he turned down the role of Robin in Tim Burton's stab at the Batman franchise. Alas, the campy sidekick no longer runs alongside his taller, broader and more dashing former partner, having been "retired" by master of the dark cinematic arts, Christopher Nolan.