a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Zombies and Calculus (2014)
Colin Adams
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

The story opens with a math professor teaching his class on a seemingly ordinary day when a student who has arrived late turns out to be the first of a wave of flesh eating zombies who are running amok around the world after a scientific experiment goes awry. Our hero forms a small team, including his ex, a police officer (who unfortunately has been bitten), and another guy who's a bit of a jerk. Together, they use knowledge of math to survive the undead onslaught.

There are quite a few scenes in which the characters are talking about derivatives and integrals as if they were in a review session or study hall, while hordes of zombies are trying to break down the door or are eating their colleagues alive. As much as I love math and consider it useful, I couldn't help but think "Shut up about the math and do something about the damn zombies!"

I am not really into the whole zombie thing, so it may not be surprising that this is not my favorite of Adams' works of mathematical fiction. But, the rave reviews, reader comments on the book's cover as well as on the usual Websites, suggest that I'm in the minority. Most people do seem to love this book.

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Works Similar to Zombies and Calculus
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Integral: A Horror Story by Colin Adams
  2. Into Thin Air by Colin Adams
  3. Riot at the Calc Exam and Other Mathematically Bent Stories by Colin Adams
  4. The Mathematics of Being Human by Michelle Osherow / Manil Suri
  5. Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley by Danyl McLauchlan
  6. Calculus and Pizza by Clifford Pickover
  7. Euclid and His Modern Rivals by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll)
  8. A Foundation in Wisdom by Robert Loyd Watson
  9. Dude, can you count? by Christian Constanda
  10. The Romance of Mathematics: Being the Original Researches of a Lady Professor of Girtham College... by Peter Hampson Ditchfield
Ratings for Zombies and Calculus:
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:
4.5/5 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.5/5 (2 votes)

GenreHumorous, Didactic, Horror,
MotifMath as Beautiful/Exciting/Useful,
TopicAnalysis/Calculus/Differential, Real Mathematics,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)