a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Bianca (1984)
Nanni Moretti (director and screenplay)

A math teacher (played by Nanni Moretti himself) has odd obsessions and compulsions in this film, including his crush on colleague Bianca. Although his anti-social behavior seems to be destroying his chances with her, she does come to his rescue when he is accused of having murdered two of his good friends by offering a false alibi to the police. In the end, however, it turns out that he did murder them because their behavior did not fit with his notion of orderliness.

By all accounts, this is a very interesting and well made film, full of both symbolism and humor. (I say "by all accounts" because, I'm afraid, I have not seen it myself.) So, I do hope to be able to see it someday. However, I am both tired and worried by the stereotype of the dangerously insane mathematician that appears with great frequency in fiction. Do enjoy this film but please keep in mind that in reality there is no increased rate of either insanity or violent behavior in math professors and teachers as compared to professors and teachers in other disciplines!

More information about this work can be found at
(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 Bianca
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Mathematicians of Grizzly Drive by Josef Skvorecky
  2. 1 to 999 by Isaac Asimov
  3. Mangum, P.I. by Colin Adams
  4. A Killer Theorem by Colin Adams
  5. The Murdered Mathematician by Harry Stephen Keeler
  6. Naked Came the Post-modernist by Sarah Lawrence College Writing Class WRIT-3303-R / Melvin Jules Bukiet
  7. Dalrymple’s Equation by Paul Fairman
  8. The Use of Geometry in the Modern Novel by Norman Clarke
  9. The Visiting Professor by Robert Littell
  10. After Math by Miriam Webster
Ratings for Bianca:
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.


GenreMystery, Humorous,
MotifEvil mathematicians, Anti-social Mathematicians, Insanity, Academia,

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Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)