MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Mozart and the Whale (2005)
Petter Næss (Director)
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A romance about two people with Asperger's Syndrome based on a true story. I have not seen the film, but understand that the male character is obsessed with numbers and statistics but works as a cab driver. His love interest, who has some skills that allow her to deal better with the rest of society, is able to eventually get him a job doing statistics at a local university. If you have seen this movie, please let me know what you thought of it. There are plenty of comments and reviews available on the internet (some people hated it, some people loved it)...but what I'm especially interested in here are the mathematical aspects that have barely been discussed elsewhere.

Since I cannot say anything specific about the film, let me comment here briefly about the autism spectrum disorders, a subject on which I have little experience and no expertise. I did have one student who had what I consider to be a severe case of Asperger's and yet was very talented in mathematics. However, I would not want to make too many assumptions based on this one example. For instance, I do not know what percentage of people with Asperger's have an interest or ability in mathematics. Similarly, I would urge you not to assume from the large number of works of fiction linking autism with mathematics that all mathematicians are autistic. It does seem that there is some sort of connection there, but I assure you that the vast majority of professional mathematicians are not autistic and I'm guessing that it would similarly be a mistake to assume that autistic people necessarily have advanced mathematical abilities!

More information about this work can be found at www.imdb.com.
(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 Mozart and the Whale
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar / Akiva Goldsman
  2. La fiamma sul ghiaccio (The Flame on the Ice) by Umberto Marino (director)
  3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  4. Mercury Rising by Harold Becker (director)
  5. Stranger than Fiction by Marc Forster (Director) / Zach Helm (Screenplay)
  6. Nachman from Los Angeles by Leonard Michaels
  7. Of Mystery There Is No End by Leonard Michaels
  8. Reality Conditions by Alex Kasman
  9. Long Division by Michael Redhill
  10. Moment of Madness by Una-Mary Parker
Ratings for Mozart and the Whale:
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:
2/5 (1 votes)
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Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
Genre
MotifAnti-social Mathematicians, Autism, Romance,
TopicProbability/Statistics,
MediumFilms,

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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)