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Mathematician Proof (1920)
Ralph Ellison de Castro

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

An utterly trite story about a genius of a mathematician (aren’t they all? To wit, “he had the binomial theorem for breakfast, lunched on integral calculus and for his evening meal considered attempts at the solution of the age old problem of squaring the circle” – clearly not a fan of Lindemann), Thaddeus Randolph. Thaddeus, the world’s foremost authority on combinatorics, publishes a paper on the design of a fool-proof safe. His school friend, now on the Chairman of a bank, gets the safe built but makes some pragmatic changes to the design during implementation. He challenges Thaddeus with a goading remark that the safe is fool-proof against everyone, including mathematicians. That sets off the title of the story, the safe is duly broken, the author attempts to build some suspense about the person who broke it – turns out it was some professional safe-cracker, not Thaddeus. Atrociously written.

Published in All-Story Weekly January 17, 1920.

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Works Similar to Mathematician Proof
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Getting the Combination by Isaac Asimov
  2. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
  3. The Universal Library [Die Universalbibliothek] by Kurd Lasswitz
  4. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
  5. The Chair of Philanthromathematics by O. Henry (William Sydney Porter)
  6. Coconuts by Ben Ames Williams
  7. Stand-In by Tay Garnett
  8. The Papers of A.J. Wentworth, B.A. by Humphry Francis Ellis
  9. Getting Rid of Fluff by Ellis Parker Butler
  10. A. Botts and the Moebius Strip by William Hazlett Upson
Ratings for Mathematician Proof:
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Mathematical Content:
2/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
1/5 (1 votes)

MediumShort Stories,

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