
All Cry Chaos (2011) 
 Leonard Rosen 

When a mathematician is killed in an explosion immediately before presenting his paper on the inevitability of a oneworld economy to the World Trade Organization, the case falls to Interpol agent Henri... (more) 


The Bank (2001) 
 Robert Connolly 

A brilliant young mathematician (aren't they all!) uses chaos theory to develop a mathematical model that predicts the stock market in this Australian thriller (coproduced by Axiom Films) .
I love... (more) 


Barking (2007) 
 Tom Holt 

Duncan Hughes has had a rather monotonous and trite career as an
estate and tax lawyer when suddenly werewolves, vampires, zombies,
and one impossibly alluring unicorn, along with his exwife and his
old... (more) 


A Beautiful Mind (2001) 
 Sylvia Nasar / Akiva Goldsman 

Although the book A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr. is not fictional, Ron Howard's film (released December 2001) most certainly is. (I say this not as a complaint, but just to justify... (more) 


The Better Mousetrap (2008) 
 Tom Holt 

The Better Mousetrap is the fifth book in Tom Holt's
series that began with The Portable Door. The first
four books told the adventures of Paul Carpenter, a fairly
boring nobody who joined the... (more) 


The Big Short (2015) 
 Charles Randolph (writer) / Adam McKay (writer and director) 

Although I did very much enjoy this creative fictional adaptation of Michael Lewis' nonfictional account of mortgage induced US housing price collapse, I did not initially include it in this database.... (more) 


A Calculated Life (2013) 
 Anne Charnock 

This novel is about a brilliant mathematical modeler who works for big business finding correlations (such as that corporate reports tend to use nautical terminology when they are in trouble, even if they... (more) 


The Cambist and Lord Iron (2007) 
 Daniel Abraham 

The story is set in a noname kingdom, seemingly medieval but with
certain modernisms. The cambist of the title is a minor worker, whose
daily routine is interrupted by Lord Iron, who has come to... (more) 


The Chimera Prophesies (2007) 
 Elliott Ostler 

A mathematician known only as ``#6'', while trying to come up with a model that would predict probabilities for different human behaviors, finds that in fact he can very nearly predict the future with... (more) 


The Circle of Zero (1936) 
 Stanley G. Weinbaum 

Thanks to Vijay Fafat for pointing out this story (with only a little math in it). A character speculates that the laws of probability predict that anything will happen in an infinite amount of time,... (more) 


Divergence (2007) 
 Tony Ballantyne 

This is the third novel of a trilogy that began with RECURSION and
CAPACITY. Set in the 23rd century, the nannying of humanity by
government and computers is the cause of some discomfort and rebellion.
Along... (more) 


A Fable for Moderns (1951) 
 Lord Dunsany 

A bank employee becomes bored with the restrictions of arithmetic and decides to let his mathematical computations enjoy the freedom of "modern" poets and artists. Although he loses his job at the bank,... (more) 


The Fear Index (2011) 
 Robert Harris 

Dr. Alex Hoffmann is an antisocial billionaire whose investment firm uses what he calls "Autonomous Machine Reasoning" (AMR) to make spectacular profits based on the Volatility Index (VIX), from which... (more) 


Fear of Math (1985) 
 Peter Cameron 

A feathertouch story about a young woman who comes to New York to do an MBA  and has to pass a Calculus course, a prerequisite for an MBA. A brief description of how utterly lost she is after her... (more) 


The Finanseer (1949) 
 Edward L. Locke 

I have to admit that this particular story blew me away for multiple reasons. It is one of the most mathematical of tales ever to appear in pulp magazines, and poundforpound in terms of length (so... (more) 


The Fractal Murders (2001) 
 Mark Cohen 

In this award winning (Top Ten Mysteries on the Book Sense 76 Fall List for 2002) mystery novel "HardBoiled" Detective Pepper Keane is hired by a tall and attractive math professor (with whom he of course... (more) 


Futility (1929) 
 Sterner St. Paul Meek (S.P. Meek) 

There is an old folk story, “The Appointment in Samarra”, in which a man sees Death in a market in Baghdad and flees to Samarra to escape its clutches, only to find that his appointment with Death... (more) 


The Gift of Numbers (1958) 
 Alan Nourse 

A mild story about an accounting bookkeeper, Avery Mearns, who runs into a stranger called, “The Colonel” at the local bar. “The Colonel had a way with numbers like no other guy around. It was... (more) 


The Girl in the Painting (2020) 
 Tea Cooper 

Jane Piper and Elizabeth Quinn are both interested in mathematics in this historical fiction novel which bounces back and forth between the midnineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Quinn arrives... (more) 


In the Light of What We Know (2014) 
 Zia Haider Rahman 

The plot of this novel involves the financial industry around the time of the 2008 crash, Afghanistan after the American invasion, and the romance between a very clever man who grew up poor in Bangladesh... (more) 


John Jones's Dollar (1915) 
 Harry Stephen Keeler 

The main mathematical content of this science fiction story is an illustration of the potential of exponential growth in the form of considering how a single dollar invested in a bank would grow in value... (more) 


Kapitoil (2010) 
 Teddy Wayne 

It is 1999 and Karim Issar is a Qatari programmer who has just moved to NYC to work on Wall Street. Karim understands the world through mathematics and equations, and wishes others did as well. He does... (more) 


Killing Time (2000) 
 Frank Tallis 

In this noir thriller, a British math grad student discovers antique lab equipment which allows him to see into the past and winds up murdering his girlfriend. Sex (explicitly described) and interpersonal... (more) 


Kim Possible (Episode: Mathter and Fervent) (2007) 
 Jim Peronto (script) 

This episode of the Disney animated TV series "Kim Possible" is a comic book parody featuring a mathematical villain.
As an English assignment, Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable have to write a paper... (more) 


The Kiss Quotient (2018) 
 Helen Hoang 

Stella is an woman with autistic tendencies who falls in love with the gigolo she hires to help her overcome her problems with intimacy. This romance novel, we are told, was inspired by the true life... (more) 



Machines Like Me (2019) 
 Ian McEwan 

There are many ways to describe this book without mentioning mathematics: It is a romance between Charlie (a slacker who dabbles in daytrading) and Miranda (the law student who lives in the apartment... (more) 


Margin Call (2011) 
 J.C. Chandor (Writer and Director) 

The starstudded cast in this film portray the employees of an investment bank at the outset of the 2008 mortgage induced financial crisis.
I did not initially include it in this database because I thought... (more) 


The Mathematician (1997) 
 George Weinberg 

“Peter K was the first person on earth ever to invert a skew symmetric matrix by pressing a button”. So begins the story, set in the years where computers had just started making a foray... (more) 


Murder at Queen's Landing (2021) 
 Andrea Penrose 

This is the fourth in a series of books in which romance sparks between Wrexford (a chemist) and Sloan (an artist) while they solve mysteries in Regencyera England. In this one, the mystery involves... (more) 


Murder at the Margin (1978) 
 Marshall Jevons 

This is the first of the Henry Spearman murder mysteries (the others
being THE FATAL EQUILIBRIUM and A DEADLY INDIFFERENCEthey can be read
in any order). These unusual murder mysteries star Harvard... (more) 


Numbers in the Dark (La notte dei numeri) (1990) 
 Italo Calvino 

A boy looking around the huge office building where his mother works meets an old accountant who now works with computers but reveals to him an undiscovered arithmetic error made back in one of the company's... (more) 


Odds Against Tomorrow (2013) 
 Nathaniel Rich 

Mitchell Zukor is a statistician and probabilist whose area of expertise is the prediction of disasters. To many people, including the reporter/narrator, this makes him a humorous and pathetic number... (more) 


Perry Rhodan 2638: Zielpunkt MorpheusSystem (2012) 
 Marc A. Herren 

The longrunning German science fiction series Perry Rhodan recently ran a contest whose winner, a certain Martin Felten, was included in issue number 2638 as a space actuary and inventor of a fivedimensional... (more) 


Pi (1998) 
 Darren Aronofsky (director) 

A mathematician discovers a new relationship between chaos theory and
the number Pi which makes him a target of a dangerous religious sect
and a greedy investor. The references to mathematics and its... (more) 


Risqueman (2009) 
 Mike Wood 

A brilliant (and beautiful) French mathematician is distressed by governmental misuse of her algorithm which accurately predicts accidents and disasters that previously were only determined probabilistically.... (more) 


Silas P. Cornu's Dry Calculator (1898) 
 Henry Hering 

A very hilarious short story about a man who wants to build a mechanical calculator to evaluate logarithms but has success building a machine that can do only addition and multiplication. On the other... (more) 


Slightly Perfect / Are you with it? (1941) 
 George MalcolmSmith (Novel) / Sam Perrin (Script) / George Balzer (Script) 

Eggheaded actuary Milton Northey Haskins quits his job upon learning that his company has lost money due to his misplaced decimal point and he joins a carnival in the 1941 novel Slightly Perfect. This... (more) 


StandIn (1937) 
 Tay Garnett


Leslie Howard plays a typical Hollywood mathematical genius: emotionless, conceited, and convinced that everything can be understood through mathematics. (Well, one out of three isn't bad!) It takes a trip to Tinsel Town and a beautiful actress to make him see the errors of his ways.
(more) 


The Statistomat Pitch (1958) 
 Chandler Davis 

This pulp science fiction story by "Chan Davis" features a discussion of the use of mathematics and a computer for the purposes of stock trading. As Vijay Fafat explains below in his post, while this... (more) 


The Steradian Trail (2013) 
 M.N. Krish 

This mathematical thriller takes place in India where American computer science professor Joshua Ezekiel is attempting to figure out the twisted criminal plot that his recently murdered student had become... (more) 


The Story of Yung Chang (1900) 
 Ernest Bramah (Ernest Bramah Smith) 

Before the invention of multiplication tables, a Chinese idol merchant must
sell his wares individually, even if someone wishes to purchase a large
amount, since he has no way to determine how much money... (more) 


The Theory of Death (2015) 
 Faye Kellerman 

The apparent suicides of a math student and math professor at Kneed Loft College are investigated by a detective, his wife, and a former detective now studying law. It was sufficiently engrossing and... (more) 


The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (2015) 
 Sydney Padua 

This graphic novel starts out as a basically realistic fictionalized biography of the 19th century mathematicians Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, even if it is a biography with a snarky sense of humor.... (more) 


The Young Arithmetician (1856) 
 Anonymous 

One of those “moral values” booklets which used to be published way back when (well, all the way back in 1856, in this case). A very lightweight story about a sixteenyear old girl, Laura (daughter... (more) 


Zero Sum Game (2018) 
 S.L. Huang 

Cas Russell is violent and amoral. She is also really good at math. Her understanding of physics and quick work with vectors allows her to do things like ricochet a tossed cell phone just right to knock... (more) 
