MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Crimes and Math Demeanors (2007)
Leith Hathout
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Note: This work of mathematical fiction is recommended by Alex for young adults.

The short mysteries in this book remind me of "Encyclopedia Brown". After a brief description of a sometimes contrived dilemma facing our young detective -- 14 year old Ravi -- you are given an opportunity to solve the mystery yourself and then presented with the clever solution discovered by "our hero". However, in this case, the explanations of the solutions are very detailed, involve serious mathematics (or occasionally physics), and even offer suggestions for pursuing the mathematical discoveries beyond what is necessary to merely address Ravi's immediate situation.

The intended audience is high school students, and we are told that the author is a high school student himself. The stories, although not high literature, are well written enough. But, the appeal of the book is the mathematics itself. Those young adult readers nerdy enough (and I mean that as a compliment!) to enjoy clever mathematics will thoroughly enjoy this book. And, for those less mathematically inclined, this book may still serve to "sugar coat" the word problems and textbook explanations enough to make this a useful supplement for teachers trying to find unorthodox ways to motivate students.

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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 Crimes and Math Demeanors
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Case of the Murdered Mathematician by Julia Barnes / Kathy Ivey
  2. The Unknowns: A Mystery by Benedict Carey
  3. NUMB3RS by Nick Falacci / Cheryl Heuton
  4. Conned Again, Watson! Cautionary Tales of Logic, Math and Probability by Colin Bruce
  5. The Man Who Counted : A Collection of Mathematical Adventures by Malba Tahan
  6. Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra by Wendy Lichtman
  7. A Tangled Tale by Lewis Carroll
  8. Pythagorean Crimes by Tefcros Michaelides
  9. Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers by Pendred Noyce
  10. A Little Mathematician - Katie by Tadashi Miura
Ratings for Crimes and Math Demeanors:
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 (1 votes)
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Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
GenreMystery, Didactic, Children's Literature,
Motif
Topic
MediumShort Stories,

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Your Help Needed: Some site visitors remember reading works of mathematical fiction that neither they nor I can identify. It is time to crowdsource this problem and ask for your help! You would help a neighbor find a missing pet...can't you also help a fellow site visitor find some missing works of mathematical fiction? Please take a look and let us know if you have seen these missing stories anywhere!.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)