a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Family Ties (Episode: My Tutor) (1985)
Jace Richdale (Screenplay) / Sam Weisman (Director)

Contributed by John C. Konrath

I'm writing to bring your attention to a television episode for possible addition to your mathematical fiction website. The television show is "Family Ties" and the episode is entitled, "My Tutor". In this episode, Alex P. Keaton hires a mathematical prodigy to tutor him in non-Euclidean geometry. I submit it on the grounds that it's interesting to see the portrayal of the characteristically socially inept young mathematician. This episode can be viewed free of charge here.

Thank you, Mr. Konrath, for the suggestion. This certainly deserves to be included in the Mathematical Fiction database. I'd just like to add a few more points:

  • People may be interested to know that the prodigy is played by River Phoenix.
  • I dislike the suggestion that one must think irrationally to appreciate non-Euclidean geometry. Like any other area of mathematics, this subject is based on logic. The unusual definitions may be counter-intuitive, but are entirely sensible.
  • A party to celebrate the 20th anniversary of someone's tenure? Ha! That's the funniest thing in the show.

More information about this work can be found at
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Works Similar to Family Ties (Episode: My Tutor)
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. What Are the Odds? by Justin Spitzer (writer) / Matthew Tritt (director)
  2. The Simpsons: Girls Just Want to Have Sums by Matt Selman
  3. Erasmus with Freckles [aka Dear Brigitte] by John Haase
  4. Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen by Kathryn Walat (playwright)
  5. Numberland by George Weinberg
  6. Recess (Episode: A Genius Among Us) by Brian Hamill
  7. The Mirror Has Two Faces by Barbra Streisand (director) / Richard LaGravenese (Writer)
  8. Nanny and the Professor (TV Series) by AJ Carothers (creator) / Thomas L. Miller (creator)
  9. Porter Piper by Anonymous
  10. Monster's Proof by Richard Lewis
Ratings for Family Ties (Episode: My Tutor):
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:
2/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)

MotifProdigies, Anti-social Mathematicians, Academia, Romance, Math Education,
MediumTelevision Series or Episode,

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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)