a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|Mangum, P.I. returns in this mystery in which the unproven Gauss' Last Lemma is wielded as a murder weapon. Apparently, a certain approach to proving it is so enticing that merely showing it to mathematicians results in their eventual death as they forego eating in order to work on it. (This is vaguely reminiscent of Ian Frazier's killion, a number so big that anyone who thinks about it dies, and Monty Python's joke so funny that people die laughing.)
Note that Gauss' Last Lemma is not a real mathematical conjecture, though its similarity to ``Fermat's Last Theorem'' makes it sound vaguely familiar.
Originally published as Mathematical Intelligencer Volume 29, Number 3 / September, 2007, it also appears in the 2009 collection Riot at the Calc Exam.....
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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books
let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)