a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

She Spies (Episode: Message from Kassar) (2003)
Vince Manze (script) / Joe Livecchi (script) / Steven Long Mitchell (script)

Although I lived in the US and had a TV in 2003, I somehow completely missed “She Spies”. I had no idea such a show existed. And so, while watching this episode to see whether it really is “mathematical fiction”, I was also trying to figure out whether this is the kind of show I would like.

The opening scene has one of the “She Spies” coming home from a first date, telling the guy she never wants to see him again because there’s no “pheromones” between them. Then, after the exciting opening credits, we see the three “She Spies” with their nerdy tech guy Duncan:

(quoted from She Spies (Episode: Message from Kassar))

Duncan: Wow, this is amazing!

DD Cummings: You cracked the code?

Duncan: No, but you got a message from Kassar!

(Blank stares.)

Duncan: Oh, come on! You’ve never heard of Ramin Kassar? He’s only the greatest living mathematical genius of the 21st century.

Shane Phillips: That’s all of three years…

Duncan: Don’t you get it? He’s like John Nash…without all the imaginary friends.

Cassie McBain: Duncan, this may come as a shock to you, but most women don’t get their bells rung by math geniuses.

Shane: Yeah, great lips…

DD: …great eyes…

Cassie: …a great ..(sighs)…well, you get the picture.

Indeed I do. The “She Spies” are completely obsessed with sex. They apparently aren’t even curious why a world famous mathematician would write to them…unless he’s a hunk. (Then, their boss pulls them aside to brief them on Kassar, who is missing, and they see his photo. Shane says “Mmmm…Great lips”, DD says “Great eyes”, and Cassie says she can’t tell about the part that interests her from a surveillance photo.)

They learn that Kassar is a Syrian mathematician who was being forced to use his genius to break codes for his government. (DD: “Imagine doing math at gunpoint.” Shane: “That’s the only way my mom got me to do it.” Ha ha.) They are ordered to assist an NSA agent (who they tell us does not have good lips or eyes) in finding Kassar

There’s really no math in the episode aside from what I mentioned above. It turns out that the titular message from Kassar is not from Kassar at all. The NSA agent is working for Syria and was just using the “She Spies” to find Kassar and his girlfriend, a highly trained assassin. (Oh, and at one point the “She Spies” have to take off their shirts to make rope so that they can escape detention. Yeah, it’s that kind of show.)

PS: John Nash didn't really have imaginary friends. That misconception was popularized in A Beautiful Mind.

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 She Spies (Episode: Message from Kassar)
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Last Enemy by Peter Berry (Screenplay) / Iain B. MacDonald (Director)
  2. Burn Notice (Episode: Signals and Codes) by Jason Tracey (screenplay) / Jeremiah Chechik (director)
  3. The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell / Dustin Thomason
  4. The Bank by Robert Connolly
  5. Touch by Tim Kring
  6. Tetraktys by Ari Juels
  7. Decoded by Mai Jia
  8. The Mystic Cipher by Dennis Mangrum
  9. The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis
  10. Turing's Delirium by Edmundo Paz Soldan
Ratings for She Spies (Episode: Message from Kassar):
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:
1/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
1/5 (1 votes)

MediumTelevision Series or Episode, Available Free Online,

Home All New Browse Search About

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)