MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Odd Squad (2014)
Tim McKeon / Adam Peltzman
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A governmental organization run by children investigates "odd" phenomena and solves problems with some math and a lot of computer graphics in this live-action TV show from TVOKids and PBS Kids.

I'm a big fan of MathNet, a Dragnet-like show in which mathematicians solved crimes. This new show produced by Fred Rogers' company has a lot in common with that one, except that now the investigators are all children. It is quite cute, sometimes over-the-top cute. In addition, the problems on this show are much sillier (such as when a "number hog" was using so many zeroes that zeroes started disappearing from other places, which left one of the nine-year old investigators in the dangerous situation of facing his 1st birthday and turning back into a baby). And, as with so many other things these days, it is also makes frequent use of computer graphics.

Contributed by Hauke Reddmann

"Odd Squad" just aired on the German KiKa. (Children Channel) Although I have only seen a few episodes, I already can comment. This is definitely more a case for TVTropes than MathFiction, and not surprising at all, it has an entry. :-)

I thought that someone put the X Files, Warehouse 13 and Round the Twist in a blender and turned on the level "Massacre". Speaking of Round the Twist (and TVTropes), the series has a big disadvantage. Since Buster Keaton you know that jokes come best when you serve them deadpan. So do trope cliches (or alternatively, lampshade them to hell and back).

The series loses somewhat with its "Hey, look how zany we are!" attitude. But sometimes it's so over the top that I can't help laughing my ass off. Probably kids will have more fun, but I definitely will not deprogram my VCR.

4/5 for math, I pass on art as it's only meant as humorous/didactic. (If you insist: 3/5 as "works, but could be so much better")

More information about this work can be found at pbskids.org.
(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 Odd Squad
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Math Patrol by TV Ontario
  2. MathNet by Childrens Television Workshop
  3. Cyberchase by Educational Broadcasting Corporation
  4. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  5. The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland (author) / John O'Brien (illustrator)
  6. A Tangled Tale by Lewis Carroll
  7. Mathmakers by TV Ontario
  8. Pythagoras Eagle & the Music of the Spheres by Anne Carse Nolting
  9. Magic Squares by Paul Calter
  10. The Unknowns: A Mystery by Benedict Carey
Ratings for Odd Squad:
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 (2 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
2.5/5 (2 votes)
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Categories:
GenreHumorous, Didactic, Children's Literature,
Motif
Topic
MediumTelevision Series or Episode,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)