MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Ore Miner's Wife (2003)
Karl Iagnemma
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Note: This work of mathematical fiction is recommended by Alex for literati.

A miner who spends his spare time secretly working on geometry problems arouses the suspicions of his God fearing wife when she comes upon his cryptic writings and follows him to a meeting with a visiting mathematician in this sweet, romantic story. Of course, anyone who knows a bit of the history of geometry will not be surprised when, at the end, the miner receives disappointing news from the mathematician. He believes that he has worked out a construction with compass and straightedge for creating a square with the same area as a given circle. However, since 1882 when Lindemann proved that the number pi is trancendental, it is well known that such a construction is impossible. (See MathWorld for more info.)

This short story is one of three "mathematical" stories by Iagnemma which appear in his collection On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction: Stories". Iagnemma recently received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT where he now works as a research scientist. In addition, his short stories have been published in many prestitigious literary magazines and have won him numerous prizes.

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(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 Ore Miner's Wife
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Zilkowski's Theorem by Karl Iagnemma
  2. Continuums by Robert Carr
  3. The Capacity for Infinite Happiness by Alexis von Konigslow
  4. Maxwell's Equations by Alex Kasman
  5. The Blue Door by Tanya Barfield
  6. One Hundred Twenty-One Days by Michèle Audin (Author) / Christiana Hills (Translator)
  7. Towel Season by Ron Carlson
  8. The Art Student's War by Brad Leithauser
  9. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  10. Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
Ratings for The Ore Miner's Wife:
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:
5/5 (2 votes)
.

Categories:
GenreHistorical Fiction,
MotifProving Theorems, Math as Beautiful/Exciting/Useful, Romance,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry,
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)