a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Astor Place Barber (2023)
Audrey Nasar

Contributed by Allan Goldberg

A short piece that employs a humorous McGuffin to introduce the Barber's Paradox.

Both frequent site contributor Dr. Allan Goldberg and the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics think this is an example of "mathematical fiction", and so I will include an entry for it here in my database (even if I'm not sure I consider it to be one).

Citation: Audrey Nasar, "Astor Place Barber," Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 13 Issue 1 (January 2023), pages 316-317

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 Astor Place Barber
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Rubbish Researchers Puzzle by Michael W. Lucht
  2. Do Androids Dream of Symmetric Sheaves?: And Other Mathematically Bent Stories by Colin Adams
  3. Actuarial / The Paradox Paradox by Buzz Mauro
  4. Incomplete Proofs by John Chu
  5. Rithmatic by B.J. Novak
  6. The Argentine Ant by T.C. Boyle
  7. A Good Problem to Have by B.J. Novak
  8. I Had to Call In a Mathematician by Erik Talvila
  9. What the Revolution Requires by Timons Esaias
  10. The First Task of My Internship by Ziyin Xiong
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TopicLogic/Set Theory,
MediumShort Stories, Available Free Online,

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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)