MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Ultima lezione a Gottinga [Last lecture at Göttingen] (2009)
Davide Osenda
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This beautifully illustrated comic book presents a professor's last lecture to a (nearly) empty auditorium as the Nazi's begin to gather the city's Jews outside. It is perhaps a stretch to call this "fiction"; there is not much of a plot. Mostly, it is simply a very good lecture on the subject of infinity with appropriate references to Cantor, Gödel, and Hilbert. After the lecture, the story continues in two additional chapters as the one audience member escapes and ends in 1963 with Paul Cohen's proof of the undecidability of the Continuum Hypothesis.

The author (contact) has made this work available through a Creative Commons license. Consequently, you can probably find copies of it in the original Italian around for free on the Internet. Moreover, he has provided me with an English translation of the first chapter with permission to distribute it on this site. Click here to download it..

I am grateful to Francesca Ceragioli for recommending it. I also would like to thank the author for additional information and for making the English translation of the first chapter freely available.

More information about this work can be found at www.001edizioni.com.
(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 Ultima lezione a Gottinga [Last lecture at Göttingen]
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Logicomix by Apostolos Doxiadis / Christos Papadimitriou
  2. A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel by Gaurav Suri / Hartosh Singh Bal
  3. The Trachtenberg Speed System by Buzz Mauro
  4. Pythagorean Crimes by Tefcros Michaelides
  5. Shakespeare Predicted it All by Dietmar Dath
  6. The Shackles of Conviction by James R. Meyer
  7. Infinities by John Barrow
  8. Continuums by Robert Carr
  9. Who Killed Professor X? by Thodoris Andriopoulos / Thanasis Gkiokas
  10. Pythagoras' Revenge: A Mathematical Mystery by Arturo Sangalli
Ratings for Ultima lezione a Gottinga [Last lecture at Göttingen]:
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)
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Literary Quality:
2.5/5 (2 votes)
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Categories:
GenreHistorical Fiction, Didactic,
MotifAcademia, Real Mathematicians, Gödel,
TopicInfinity, Logic/Set Theory,
MediumComic Book,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)