MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Fermat's Room (La Habitacion de Fermat) (2007)
Luis Piedrahita / Rodrigo Sopeña
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In this Spanish thriller, four mathematicians are invited to a booby trapped room where they must solve mathematical puzzles to prevent the walls from closing in and crushing them. This leaves them little time to puzzle out the most important question of what they have in common and who might want to kill them.

One of the four is a young mathematician famous for having proved Goldbach's Conjecture. The others are an engineer who disdains pure mathematics, a sad older man who enjoys only math and chess, and a young woman. Despite Fermat's name being in the title, Fermat's Last Theorem is not at all important here. Each character is given a pseudonym (Hilbert, Galois, etc.) and the invitations they received were signed by "Fermat". Actually, Goldbach's Conjecture is the main mathematical topic of interest. (Still, in thinking about what else "Fermat" might mean, I wonder if we are supposed to see a parallel between the walls closing in to crush them and Fermat's famous statement that the "margins are too narrow...."? No probably not.)

Some squeamish viewers or concerned parents (I count myself as being in both sets) may be interested in knowing that this movie is not nearly as violent as similar films like Cube. There are a few deaths caused by the evil plot, but they are not bloody or gory.

The DVD with English subtitles is now available in all of the usual places, and you can see the preview on YouTube.

Thanks to Stan Cohen for bringing it to my attention!

Contributed by Juan Marin

An Agatha Christie type whodunit seasoned with a hit parade of classic mathematical problems.

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 Fermat's Room (La Habitacion de Fermat)
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Furuhata Ninzaburô (Episode 13) by Kôki Mitani
  2. The Brink of Infinity by Stanley G. Weinbaum
  3. No One You Know by Michelle Richmond
  4. Oh, Brother by Stanley Hart
  5. Twisted Seduction by Dominique Adams (writer and director)
  6. The Integral: A Horror Story by Colin Adams
  7. Pythagorean Crimes by Tefcros Michaelides
  8. The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez
  9. The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis
  10. Cube by Vincenzo Natali (Director)
Ratings for Fermat's Room (La Habitacion de Fermat):
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:
4.5/5 (2 votes)
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Literary Quality:
2/5 (2 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreMystery, Adventure/Espionage,
MotifEvil mathematicians, Insanity, Proving Theorems, Female Mathematicians, Romance,
TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,
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)