MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Harvey Plotter and the Circle of Irrationality (2011)
Nathan Carter / Dan Kalman
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Harvey Plotter, who has a scar shaped like a radical sign on his forehead, must find all of the rational points on the circularum unititatus before the evil Lord Voldemorphism.

The reader follows along as Harvey and his Graphindor friends (Rong and Hymernie) prove that the points on the unit circle for which both coordinates are rational numbers (aside from (0,1)) correspond to the lines with rational slope through the point (0,-1), and then (with help from Alphas Jumblemore) parametrize these points in terms of integer parameters p and q.

The puns are heavy and the plot light, but they are probably enough to coax the reader to continue on through a very clear and precise elementary worked example in rational algebraic geometry.

Published in Math Horizons, November 2011, pp 10-14. (This may not be the last we see of these characters. The Great Harvey Plotter Writing Contest is announced on page 2 of the same issue.)

(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Harvey Plotter and the Circle of Irrationality
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Uncle Georg's Attic by Ben Schumacher
  2. Pythagoras's Darkest Hour by Colin Adams
  3. The Gangs of New Math by Robert W. Vallin
  4. Donald in Mathmagic Land by Hamilton Luske (director)
  5. Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers by Pendred Noyce
  6. Unreasonable Effectiveness by Alex Kasman
  7. The Case of the Murdered Mathematician by Julia Barnes / Kathy Ivey
  8. Cardano and the Case of the Cubic by Jeff Adams
  9. The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland (author) / John O'Brien (illustrator)
  10. The Number Devil (Der Zahlenteufel) by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Ratings for Harvey Plotter and the Circle of Irrationality:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
5/5 (1 votes)
.
Literary Quality:
1/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
GenreHumorous, Fantasy, Didactic, Children's Literature,
Motif
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry, Algebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)