a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

Journey to the Center of Mathematics (2006)
Colin Adams
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

A parody of the classic Jules Verne tale, which reads like what Woody Allen would have written if he had taken math instead of philosophy at NYU:

(quoted from Journey to the Center of Mathematics)

The next day, we booked travel on a steamer across the Analytic Ocean. All too soon, we found ourselves trudging through the desolate wasteland of Differential Topology following our newly hired guide, Hansel, a mathematician from Stockholm who spoke neither English nor Swedish. But he was quite good with hand signals.

Several weeks did it take us to cross the desert. Much did I learn on that journey. I learned that the tangent space at a point to an m-dimensional smooth manifold is a vector space. I learned that a nonsingular derivative at a point x of a smooth map f from Rn to Rn implies that f sends a neighborhood of x diffeomorphically onto a neighborhood of f(x). I learned not to share a pillow with Professor Lederhosen, as he drools in his sleep. Finally, after many tortuous days of slow progress, we found ourselves at the foot of Sard's Theorem.

The journey is long and entertaining...and anyone who has taken a course on the foundations of set theory knows what they find there.

Originally published in Mathematical Intelligencer Volume 28, Number 4 / December, 2006 and then reprinted in the collection Riot at the Calc Exam.....

More information about this work can be found at another page on this Website.
(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 Journey to the Center of Mathematics
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. On Another Plane by Colin Adams
  2. A Proof of God by Colin Adams
  3. Into Thin Air by Colin Adams
  4. Mangum, P.I. by Colin Adams
  5. Topsy-turvy (Sans Dessus Dessous) by Jules Verne
  6. Lost in the Math Museum by Colin Adams
  7. Incomplete Proofs by John Chu
  8. Danny’s Inferno by Albert Cowdrey
  9. Math Takes a Holiday by Paul Di Filippo
  10. Stranger than Fiction by Marc Forster (Director) / Zach Helm (Screenplay)
Ratings for Journey to the Center of Mathematics:
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:
5/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

GenreHumorous, Fantasy,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry, Real Mathematics, Logic/Set Theory,
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)