a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|Old MacDonald had a firm, and in that firm he had a young mathematician who wanted to win his daughter's hand in marriage. MacDonald was skeptical:
|(quoted from The Geometrics of Johnny Day)|
""Ye want a job, eh? And just what is it that ye do?"
"I draw things," Johnny told him, "and I add things and I say A plus B equals C. In other words, I am -- or used to be -- a mathematics professor..."
"...There's na place f'r ye in this concairn. If ye were an engeeneer, pairhaps, or even a fairst-class puddler. But a teacher! A hypotheteecal word-mongerer--"
But Johnny was able to win him over, first with a bit of geometry (finding a geodesic on the surface of the walls and floors that allows for an electrical cord to be shortened thereby saving money) and then with a classic object from topology (the Möbius strip allows Johnny to out-smart MacDonald's old rival who has found a loophole in a contract allowing him to paint only one side of MacDonald's fence).
Much thanks to Sandro Caparrini for sending me this wonderful old gem of mathematical fiction, originally published in the July 1941 issue of Astounding Science Fiction and recently republished in the collection The Far Side of Nowhere.
|More information about this work can be found at .|
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(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)