MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Tale of the Big Computer (aka The End of Man?) (1966)
Hannes Alfven (writing as Olof Johannesson)
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Contributed by "William E. Emba"

"Alfven, the Swedish physicist and astrophysicist who was awarded the Nobel prize for his development of plasma physics and magnetohydrodynamics (but is perhaps better remembered for his anti-Big-Bang plasma cosmology), wrote a far-sighted satiric fable about the alleged wonders of computer technology. In addition, he mocked government bureaucracy and big business. Two pages are devoted to the division of labor computers bring to mathematics. Humans concentrate on formulating conjectures, and machines to proving or refuting them."

More information about this work can be found at public.lanl.gov.
(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 The Tale of the Big Computer (aka The End of Man?)
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Ms Fnd in a Lbry by Hal Draper
  2. The Pacifist by Arthur C. Clarke
  3. Quanto scommettiamo ("How much do you want to bet?") by Italo Calvino
  4. The Holmes-Ginsbook Device by Isaac Asimov
  5. The Mathenauts by Norman Kagan
  6. Quarantine by Arthur C. Clarke
  7. Four Brands of Impossible by Norman Kagan
  8. Unreasonable Effectiveness by Alex Kasman
  9. Monster by Alex Kasman
  10. The Indefatigable Frog by Philip K. Dick
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Categories:
GenreHumorous, Science Fiction,
MotifProving Theorems,
TopicComputers/Cryptography,
MediumShort Stories,

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May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the Amazon.com page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)