a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|Those Who Can, Do (1965) || Bob Kurosaka |
"William E. Emba"|
In this short-short classic, a mathematics professor ends the first day
of a Differential Equations class asking for questions. One student is
irksome, even peculiar, in his wish to know what practical use there
is of such "totally abstract concepts". So the professor gives him an
answer he'll never forget.
The author was, at the time, a college mathematics instructor, so we
can assume that any mathematical oddities (like calling differential
equations "totally abstract") are deliberate.
Published in in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, Jan 1965, pp
reprinted in Judith Merril (ed) THE 11th ANNUAL OF THE YEAR'S BEST SF.
Could this story be published today ?
|(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.)|
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)