a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Il Bimbo e le Meraviglie Matematiche [The Child and the Wonder of Mathematics] (1993)
Letterio Gatto

Mathematician Letterio Gatto at Politecnico di Torino wrote these short stories about a child who visits working men in their shops to discuss mathematical ideas. The savvy reader will recognize the men as being stand-ins for famous researchers of the same names.

Each of the stories was published in Cortina magazine in Italian. The author has kindly provided scans in PDF format.

Professor Gatto also wrote an explanation of what he hoped to achieve with these stories, which was also published in Cortina and can be downloaded here.

(Some English speaking readers may be confused or bothered by the fact that the phrase "il bimbo", suggesting an innocent male child to an Italian reader, has exactly the opposite connotation in English.)

(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 Il Bimbo e le Meraviglie Matematiche [The Child and the Wonder of Mathematics]
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Into Thin Air by Colin Adams
  2. The Banana Girls by Karim F. Hirji
  3. Cantor’s Dragon by Craig DeLancy
  4. The Number Devil [Der Zahlenteufel] by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  5. A Little Mathematician - Katie by Tadashi Miura
  6. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka / Lane Smith (illustrator)
  7. Pythagorean Crimes by Tefcros Michaelides
  8. Gauß, Eisenstein, and the ``third'' proof of the Quadratic Reciprocity Theorem: Ein kleines Schauspiel by Reinhard C. Laubenbacher / David J. Pengelley
  9. Codes, Puzzles & Conspiracy [a.k.a. Dr. Ecco, Mathematical Detective] by Dennis Shasha
  10. The Kissing Number by Ian Stewart
Ratings for Il Bimbo e le Meraviglie Matematiche [The Child and the Wonder of Mathematics]:
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MotifReal Mathematicians,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry, Mathematical Physics, Real Mathematics,
MediumShort Stories,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)