a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Emmy Noether: The Mother of Modern Algebra (2008)
Margaret B.W. Tent
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A semi-fictional biography of Emmy Noether written for young adults.

The book has received positive reviews from many mathematicians who hope (as, one supposes, does the author) that young readers will benefit from reading about a tremendously successful and important female mathematician from the early 20th Century. Reviews from the London Mathematical Society and American Mathematical Society respectively can be found here and here.

However, not all reviewers were happy with the book. The review in the Mathematical Intelligencer by Renate Tobles complains about historical inaccuracies and about the simplistic way in which the mathematics is presented. She also questions the need for the fictional aspects of the book ("Do dialogues about clothes, hats and chocolate have to be invented to interest teenagers in a mathematician?"). [If I may I would like to briefly respond to this remark. In my experience, when used appropriately, fiction can enhance the understanding and interest of readers in mathematical topics and so should not necessarily be criticized in general. I intend this as a defense of the use of "mathematical fiction" as an educational tool and not, in particular, of this book which I actually have not yet had a chance to read.]

Contributed by Andrea Albrecht

I was disappointed by this book, like a lot of German readers who know about Noether.

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Works Similar to Emmy Noether: The Mother of Modern Algebra
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Prince of Mathematics: Carl Friedrich Gauss by Margaret B.W. Tent
  2. The Fairytale of the Completely Symmetrical Butterfly by Dietmar Dath
  3. A Higher Geometry by Sharelle Byars Moranville
  4. Sophie's Diary by Dora Musielak
  5. The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer
  6. Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
  7. Abendland (Occident) by Michael Köhlmeier
  8. Agora by Alejandro Amenábar (writer and director) / Mateo Gil (writer)
  9. Flow Down Like Silver: Hypatia of Alexandria by Ki Longfellow
  10. Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson
Ratings for Emmy Noether: The Mother of Modern Algebra:
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:
3/5 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.5/5 (2 votes)

GenreHistorical Fiction, Children's Literature,
MotifReal Mathematicians, Female Mathematicians,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)