a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

The Ore Miner's Wife (2003)
Karl Iagnemma
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)
Note: This work of mathematical fiction is recommended by Alex for literati.

A miner who spends his spare time secretly working on geometry problems arouses the suspicions of his God fearing wife when she comes upon his cryptic writings and follows him to a meeting with a visiting mathematician in this sweet, romantic story. Of course, anyone who knows a bit of the history of geometry will not be surprised when, at the end, the miner receives disappointing news from the mathematician. He believes that he has worked out a construction with compass and straightedge for creating a square with the same area as a given circle. However, since 1882 when Lindemann proved that the number pi is trancendental, it is well known that such a construction is impossible. (See MathWorld for more info.)

This short story is one of three "mathematical" stories by Iagnemma which appear in his collection On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction: Stories". Iagnemma recently received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT where he now works as a research scientist. In addition, his short stories have been published in many prestitigious literary magazines and have won him numerous prizes.

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 The Ore Miner's Wife
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Zilkowski's Theorem by Karl Iagnemma
  2. A Universe of Sufficient Size by Miriam Sved
  3. Continuums by Robert Carr
  4. Q.E.D. by Jack Eric Morpurgo
  5. The Capacity for Infinite Happiness by Alexis von Konigslow
  6. The Old Mathematician by Dinah Maria Muloch
  7. Maxwell's Equations by Alex Kasman
  8. Miss Havilland by Gay Daly
  9. The Blue Door by Tanya Barfield
  10. The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung
Ratings for The Ore Miner's Wife:
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:
4/5 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
5/5 (2 votes)

GenreHistorical Fiction,
MotifProving Theorems, Math as Beautiful/Exciting/Useful, Romance,
MediumShort Stories,

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)