MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Thomas Gray: Philosopher Cat (1988)
Philip J. Davis
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Contributed by Jameela Lares, University of Southern Mississippi

As the jacket blurb explains, the book is "a philosophical fireside tale wrapped lightly around a mathematical problem, revealing scholarly life and attitudes at a well-known English college. It spins the clever tale of Thomas Gray, the (curiously named) female cat who douns herself (still more curiously) at Cambridge University helping a historian of mathematics with his research." The central mathematical puzzle is what a medieval manuscript says about the problem of Theodorus of Cyrene and the square root of seventeen.

The book is an engaging read, one I highly recommend for its literary merits. I cannot speak to its mathematical accuracy, but the author lists what look like respectable sources in his Acknowledgements.

I had to get my own copy of this book, even though it was out of print.

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 Thomas Gray: Philosopher Cat
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Number 9: The Search for the Sigma Code by Cecil Balmond
  2. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
  3. The Man Who Counted : A Collection of Mathematical Adventures by Malba Tahan
  4. The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland (author) / John O'Brien (illustrator)
  5. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  6. Counting on Frank by Rod Clement
  7. The Boy Who Reversed Himself by William Sleator
  8. MathNet by Childrens~Television~Workshop
  9. Strange Attractors by William Sleator
  10. Getting Somewhere by Jenny Pausacker
Ratings for Thomas Gray: Philosopher Cat:
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:
3/5 (2 votes)
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Literary Quality:
3.5/5 (2 votes)
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Categories:
GenreChildren's Literature,
Motif
Topic
MediumNovels,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)