MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Donald in Mathmagic Land (1959)
Hamilton Luske (director)
Highly Rated!
Note: This work of mathematical fiction is recommended by Alex for children.

Disney's Donald Duck takes an adventure to a land where mathematics "comes alive". (Animated short.)

Contributed by "Lisa"

I used this video in my 6th grade classroom. The kids enjoyed watching it and were extremely animated when we discussed the video. They began to realize how math is everywhere.

Contributed by "Peggy Kubiak"

I use this in my high school Geometry class. It is a great compliment and introduction to the Golden Ratio. The billiards scene fascinates the class (especially the boys). This film ties in nicely the strong relationship between Math (Geometry) and Nature. All ages will enjoy this short 30 minute (Approx) film.

Apparently, this short is now available in the form of a DVD which is available for purchase, and can also be seen on YouTube. This is an improvement over the situation a few years ago when the best one could find were bootlegged video tapes.

Sandro Caparrini (Universita di Torinio) has just sent me a comic book version of Donald in Mathmagic Land. It is not simply a copy of the movie in still form, although it does follow the same basic outline. Of course, this comic book version happens to be in Italian! Still, I'm sure there is an English version out there. Anyone know where it is?

Contributed by Donald Hackler

I saw this feature as a kid, and remembered it so well that friends and family went to some length, at different times, to locate both the (English) comic-book version, and eventually the video. My kids have all seen the video, it seems to appeal especially to the late pre-teen crowd. Even at my "advanced" age (according to said children), I still find this a delight.

Contributed by Victor M. Bujan

DD in Mathmagic Land is very efficient in motivating and inspirig young students and high school students (even adults)in their mathematical education. It shows beautifully the fact that mathematics is almost ubiquitous (omnipresent?) and no mathematical concept is degraded or distorted in order to make them easy to understand. Theese days I am looking for a copy of DD in Mathmagic Land in DVD with subtitles in Spanish. Victor M. Bujan, San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America.

Contributed by Anonymous

This is by far the best video every made.

Contributed by Anonymous

I was introduced to this video in college by my math professor. I think that speaks volumes. I wish it were available for purchase in the stores. It is extremely difficult to locate.

Contributed by Nicki

Excellent movie to show to all grade levels. It had something for everyone and very accurate in the telling.

Contributed by Anonymous

Clearly one of the classical mathematical greats. Too bad it is so hard to find.

Contributed by Anonymous

I love this film! Agreed that it's one of the best ever made. This was what got me interested in mathematics in the first place!

Contributed by Alan

I had a copy of the comic (in English) in the early sixties. It is somewhat different from the video (also good) and I think it was published by Dell from USA and the storyline seemed more developed (as I recall). I'd love to get hold of another copy. I remember Donald Duck saying 'Pi? Trot it out, any flavor will do!' Best wishes, Al.

Contributed by John C. Konrath

This concise, fun, interesting, brilliant film is a MUST see! I intend to recommend this film to everyone I know. It makes math approachable for children which is seemingly a major accomplishment.

Contributed by Anonymous

I USED THIS IN MY SECOND GRADE YEAR AFTER YEAR....IT HELD ATTENTION OF 7-8 YEAR OLDS AND THEY WERE ABLE TO GRASP THE SOME OF THE CONCEPTS...SAME COPY WAS SHOWN YEARS LATER, TO SAME CHILDREN NOW IN 6,7, AND 8TH..GRADES..SOME ACTUALLY REMEMBERED IT AND ALL ENJOYED IT...

Contributed by William Griffith

I have owned (and shown) this video to my math classes for years. I created a companion "quiz" for it, and allow students to take the quiz as they watch the video a second time (within a week of the first viewing). They are allowed to answer as many questions from memory as possible, earning extra points for those, before the second showing begins.

Of course, now we see that this great film is all over YouTube, so is accessible to those who have never been able to purchase the DVD.

Contributed by rama ramakrishnan

I coined a word about three years ago called 'Lumeracy'., I defined the word as "to represent being educated with knowledge to read, write and use numeracy, manage information, express ideas and opinions, communicate in an ethical manner, make decisions and solve problems." This material falls into this category along with many available, one has to look for them. I have presented papers on this and will be happy to share with those interested.

More information about this work can be found at another page on this Website.
(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 Donald in Mathmagic Land
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics by Norton Juster
  2. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster / Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
  3. The Number Devil (Der Zahlenteufel) by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  4. Math Patrol by TV Ontario
  5. Train Brains / The Runaway Train (Donald Duck) by Carl Barks
  6. The Parrot's Theorem by Denis Guedj
  7. Harvey Plotter and the Circle of Irrationality by Nathan Carter / Dan Kalman
  8. A Tangled Tale by Lewis Carroll
  9. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  10. Three Days in Karlikania by Vladimir Levshin
Ratings for Donald in Mathmagic Land:
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:
4.41/5 (35 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
4.43/5 (35 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreHistorical Fiction, Humorous, Fantasy, Didactic, Children's Literature,
MotifMusic,
Topic
MediumFilms, Available Free Online, Comic Book,

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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)