MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

...
The Needle in a Haystack (2002)
Tom DeMarco
...

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

A pretty funny, silly story about a tailor with a mathematical bent who loses a needle in a haystack. Quite despondent about his chances of finding it, he decides to be mathematically rigorous in his search, by first formulating it as a well-defined problem in probability. Just then, a princess, who is not used to mathematics but quick on the uptake, shows up and offers to help. She recasts the problem as finding hay in a needlestack [and then setting n=1 as the order of the needlestack for the current problem]. After some jousting with mathematical symbols, she produces one straw of hay. The tailor then finds the needle but loses the princess, in a tickling twist to the tale in the final 3 sentences.

Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon.com. Amazon.com logo
(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 The Needle in a Haystack
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Problems for Self-Study by Charles Yu
  2. Calculus and Pizza by Clifford Pickover
  3. A Proof of God by Colin Adams
  4. Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen by Kathryn Walat (playwright)
  5. What Are the Odds? by Justin Spitzer (writer) / Matthew Tritt (director)
  6. The Legend of Howard Thrush by Alex Kasman
  7. Thinking of Leaving Your Husband? by Charlotte Cory
  8. The Givenchy Code by Julie Kenner
  9. The Gangs of New Math by Robert W. Vallin
  10. Goldman's Theorem by R.J. Stern
Ratings for The Needle in a Haystack:
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.
(unrated)

PLEASE HELP US OUT BY ENTERING YOUR OWN RATINGS FOR THIS WORK.

Categories:
GenreHumorous,
MotifRomance,
Topic
MediumShort Stories,

Home All New Browse Search About

May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the Amazon.com page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)