a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|A creepy but interesting story that combines the genetics of cancer, the neurology of dreaming, immunology, and the mathematics of catastrophe theory (a precursor of what we now call "chaos theory"). A biologist, who insists he is dying of cancer although he refuses to take tests to confirm this hypothesis, convinces a researcher to destroy a part of his brain on the theory that both dreams and cancer have related biological functions. The connection has something to do with Rene Thom's catastrophe curve, although we're never told quite enough to understand how. In fact, in the end we are left to wonder whether he is crazy or brilliant.
Originally published in a collection called Pulsar I and reprinted in Mathenauts.
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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)