MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Euclid and His Modern Rivals (1879)
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll)
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I have long known that mathematician Charles Dodgson, who wrote the famous Alice stories under the pseudonym "Lewis Carroll", also wrote a book defending Euclid's ancient text as the best for teaching geometry. However, having never read it myself, I was not aware that it was written in the form of a play featuring Euclid's ghost and the fictional characters "Minos" and "Dr. Niemand". I am grateful to Matthew Huerta-Enochian for suggesting that I add it to the list here.

The entire book is currently available online as a Google book. It may still be entertaining, as it contains some of the author's well known sense of humor. However, it is also likely to be hopelessly out of date as our views of both geometry and pedagogy have changed a great deal since this was written. It has even been suggested that this work is no longer viewed as being historically/mathematically accurate. Can anyone comment on this?

More information about this work can be found at books.google.com.
(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 Euclid and His Modern Rivals
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. A Tangled Tale by Lewis Carroll
  2. Sylvie and Bruno Concluded by Lewis Carroll
  3. The Romance of Mathematics: Being the Original Researches of a Lady Professor of Girtham College... by Peter Hampson Ditchfield
  4. Into Thin Air by Colin Adams
  5. Dude, can you count? by Christian Constanda
  6. Riot at the Calc Exam and Other Mathematically Bent Stories by Colin Adams
  7. Flatterland: like Flatland, only more so by Ian Stewart
  8. The Mathematician’s Nightmare: The Vision of Professor Squarepunt by Bertrand Russell
  9. Journey into Geometries by Marta Sved
  10. Hilbert's Hotel by Ian Stewart
Ratings for Euclid and His Modern Rivals:
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:
5/5 (1 votes)
.
Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreHumorous, Didactic,
MotifMath Education,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry, Real Mathematics,
MediumPlays, Available Free Online,

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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)