a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Happening (2008)
M. Night Shyamalan (writer and director)

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

John Leguizamo's character is a math professor who keeps using uplifting percentage statistics to cheer up. At one point, he asks a panick-stricken woman the question, "if I give you a penny the first day, 2 pennnies the day after, 4 pennnies after that and keep doubling for a month, how much money will I have paid you?". The woman guesses 2-3 times ranging from a dollar to 30 dollars before the professor gives her the answer of "more than 10 million dollars", a figure easily verifiable (Since the answer X = 2^30-1 or abut 2^30 pennies, if you approximate log(10) = 0.3, you get log(X) about 30*0.3 = 9, giving X = a billion pennies, equalling 10 million dollars)

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Works Similar to The Happening
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. You Don't Scare Me by John Farris
  2. The Object by Alex Kasman
  3. The Integral: A Horror Story by Colin Adams
  4. Threshold by Bragi F. Schut / Brannon Braga / David S. Goyer / Dan O'Shannon
  5. Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils by David W. Edwards
  6. Excision by Richard Bates Jr (Director and Screenwriter)
  7. The Book of Irrational Numbers by Michael Marshall Smith
  8. The Judge's House by Bram Stoker
  9. Zombies and Calculus by Colin Adams
  10. The Giant Claw by Fred F. Sears (director)
Ratings for The Happening:
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:
1/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)


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May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)