MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Georgia on My Mind (1995)
Charles Sheffield
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Contributed by Michele Benzi

The story has to do with Babbage's Analytical Engine and a remote region of Antarctica (the "Georgia" of the title). The mathematics bit, aside from Babbage, consists of a nonlinear optimization problem facing the main characters, for the solution of which they contact "Gene", a numerical analyst from Stanford, who was actually a real person (Gene Golub, an eminent numerical analysts whom I knew very well and co-authored four papers with). There is a brief discussion of the computational complexity of the problem ("it's definitely non-polynomial...").

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Works Similar to Georgia on My Mind
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Difference Engine by William Gibson / Bruce Sterling
  2. In The Country of the Blind by Michael Flynn
  3. Dark as Day by Charles Sheffield
  4. The Ganymede Club by Charles Sheffield
  5. Nuremberg Joys by Charles Sheffield
  6. Signal to Noise by Eric S. Nylund
  7. Wang's Carpets by Greg Egan
  8. Herbrand's Conjecture and the White Sox Scandal by Eliot Fintushel
  9. Planck Zero by Stephen Baxter
  10. Luminous by Greg Egan
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Categories:
GenreScience Fiction,
MotifAliens, Real Mathematicians,
TopicComputers/Cryptography, Analysis/Calculus/Differential,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)