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The Chair of Philanthromathematics (1908)
O. Henry (William Sydney Porter)

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

Jeff Peters and Andy Tucker, con men in the O. Henry stories collected in this volume, are a bit uncomfortable after scoring a really big scam. So they retreat to the middle of nowhere, go into philanthropy, and found a free university in the middle of nowhere, with a faculty of six professors hired by mail order. They begin instant heroes, and live the high life for a while.

But the money is running low. Salvation comes in the form of a mysterious seventh professor, James Darnley McCorkle, chair of mathematics, who knows the right kind of mathematics.

First reprinted in THE GENTLE GRAFTER (1908)

More information about this work can be found at
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Works Similar to The Chair of Philanthromathematics
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Tachypomp by Edward Page Mitchell
  2. Inquirendo Island by Hudor Genone
  3. The Romance of Mathematics: Being the Original Researches of a Lady Professor of Girtham College... by Peter Hampson Ditchfield
  4. The Devil and the Lady by Alfred Tennyson
  5. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
  6. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
  7. Topsy-turvy (Sans Dessus Dessous) by Jules Verne
  8. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  9. Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon
  10. The Geometrics of Johnny Day by Nelson Bond
Ratings for The Chair of Philanthromathematics:
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Mathematical Content:
1/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

MediumShort Stories, Available Free Online,

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Great News for 1 April 2016: The long awaited cover of the comic book adaptation of The Adventures of Topology Man has been released. See here for details.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)