
2+2=5 (2006) 
 Rudy Rucker / Terry Bisson 

A retired insurance adjuster and a math professor who was fired for telling his students that there are "holes" in the number line pass the time by trying to break a world record for counting. To achieve... (more) 


21 (2008) 
 Robert Luketic (Director) 

As I understand it, the book by Ben Mezrich which inspired this film is nonfiction. It told the true story (though using pseudonyms) of a team comprised of an MIT math professor and six MIT students... (more) 


21 Grams (2003) 
 Alejandro González Iñárritu 

I have not yet seen this film in which Sean Penn portrays a critically ill mathematician. The title is apparently taken from the results of the bizarre (hard to believe and never reproduced) experiments... (more) 


The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri (2008) 
 David Bajo 

Philip is a mathematician who works in the financial industry, a quant. We also meet his exwife, Rebecca, who is a math professor. But, the main character in this novel is a woman who we only meet in... (more) 


36 Arguments for the Existence of God (2010) 
 Rebecca Goldstein 

This new novel by Rebecca Goldstein, whose Strange Attractors is one of my favorite works of mathematical fiction, features as two main characters a woman known as "the goddess of game theory" and a Hasidic... (more) 


4.50 from Paddington (1957) 
 Agatha Christie 

A suggestion for your site: In the Agatha Christie novel 4.50 from Paddington an important role is played by Lucy Eyelesbarrow, a woman in her thirties who has a First in Maths from Oxford. She declined... (more) 


Advanced Calculus of Murder (1988) 
 Erik Rosenthal 

In the second book in the Dan Brodsky series (following Calculus of Murder by the same author), Brodsky is invited to COTCA (the Conference on Operator Theory and C*Algebras at Oxford University). While... (more) 


The Adventures of a University Math Professor (2001) 
 Donald A. Buckeye 

This slim book is a very easy, unassuming, pleasant read which adults and sixth graders can both read with joy. It is an autobiographical fictionalization of some parts of a mathematics teacher's life.... (more) 


After Math (1997) 
 Miriam Webster 

The ghost of math professor Ray Bellwether tries to solve the mystery of
his own murder in this `first novel' by Amy Babich (Webster is just a
pseudonym). Babich has a Ph.D. in mathematics (and a Master's... (more) 


Against the Odds (2001) 
 Martin Gardner 

Luther Washington, a young, AfricanAmerican boy in Butterfield, KS must overcome several kinds of prejudice to become a mathematician.
First, he must face the prejudices of his father that his interest... (more) 


The Almond Tree (2012) 
 Michelle Cohen Corasanti 

A poor Palestinian boy growing up in Israel during the 1950s and 1960s endures persecution but eventually becomes a successful scientific researcher because of his mathematical skills.
The author, who... (more) 


Anathem (2008) 
 Neal Stephenson 

This ambitious novel takes place on a world in which it is the theoretical scientists and mathematicians (rather than the theologians as on our planet) who have cloistered themselves in ascetic communes,... (more) 


An Angel of Obedience (2010) 
 John Giessmann 

Due to his new obsession with fractal geometry, thirteen yearold prodigy Jackson Carter has just ended an illustrious career as a classical musician and enrolled as a math major at Harvard. There he... (more) 


Antonia's Line (1995) 
 Marleen Gorris 

About three or more generations of
strong and selfsufficient women who live on a farm and the people
around them. Antonia's granddaughter is a genius, namely a
mathematician and a musician. But she... (more) 


Applied Mathematical Theology (2006) 
 Gregory Benford 

Benford, a physicist and science fiction author, wrote this piece about a message hidden in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) for the journal Nature's "Futures" column. It cites (fictional)... (more) 


Arcadia (1993) 
 Tom Stoppard 

Stoppard's critically successful play includes long discussions of topics of
mathematical interest including: Fermat's Last Theorem and Newtonian
determinism, iterated algorithms, the second law of thermodynamics,
Fourier's... (more) 


The Arnold Proof (2002) 
 Jessica Francis Kane 

This short story begins with a quote from Philip E.B. Jourdain's essay "The Nature of Mathematics". In the quote, he explains how in the process of carrying out a complicated computation, one may want... (more) 


Art Thou Mathematics? (1978) 
 Charles Mobbs 

Short story (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, October 1978 Vol. 98 No 10) concerning the very nature of mathematical discovery. It was later rewritten in the form of a play, which the author has... (more) 


The Axiom of Choice (2009) 
 David Corbett 

An extremely wellcrafted short story in which math professor coldly recounts for a detective how the bloody bodies of his wife and his student came to be in his house. It is not really a murder mystery,... (more) 


A Beautiful Mind (2001) 
 Sylvia Nasar / Akiva Goldsman 

Although the book A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr. is not fictional, Ron Howard's film (released December 2001) most certainly is. (I say this not as a complaint, but just to justify... (more) 



Bianca (1984) 
 Nanni Moretti (director and screenplay) 

A math teacher (played by Nanni Moretti himself) has odd obsessions and compulsions in this film, including his crush on colleague Bianca. Although his antisocial behavior seems to be destroying his... (more) 


The Bishop Murder Case (1928) 
 S.S. van Dine (pseudonym of Willard Huntington Wright) 

Our hero, Vance, says at the end of this mystery novel: "At the outset I was able to postulate a mathematician as the criminal agent. The difficulty of naming the murderer lay in the fact that nearly... (more) 


The Blind Geometer (1987) 
 Kim Stanley Robinson 

This short novel lives up to its name: it really is about a blind
geometer! Carlos Oleg Nevsky was born blind and ``since 2043'' has
been a professor of mathematics at GWU. We get some interesting
discussion... (more) 


The Blue Door (2006) 
 Tanya Barfield 

A successful AfricanAmerican mathematics professor who has tried to ignore racism and its implications for his life is visited by the memories of three dead relatives during a sleepless night in this... (more) 


The Body Counter (2018) 
 Anne Frasier 

Detective Jude Fontaine must stop a pathological killer whose murder sprees are dictated by the Fibonacci sequence.
Fontaine is known for her ability to read people. (She often can tell when people... (more) 


Boltzmann's Ghost (1998) 
 Ken Wharton 

A physicist encounters an apparently crazy man who tries to convince him
that some beings experience time backwards. His intriguing explanation of
this phenomenon depends on theoretical physics, and... (more) 


The Bones of Time (1996) 
 Kathleen Ann Goonan 

A young 21st century mathematician named Cen (short for Century) Kalakaua falls in love with a 19th century Hawaiian princess when they meet through an unusual temporal phenomenon. He becomes obsessed... (more) 


Bonita Avenue (2010) 
 Peter Buwalda 

This widely acclaimed and popular Dutch novel concerns a mathematician who is a sort of intellectual public figure that the United States does not seem to have. After winning the Fields Medal for his... (more) 


The Book of Getting Even (2009) 
 Benjamin Taylor 

A brilliant homosexual teenager uses mathematics as an escape from the pressures of everyday life, including his father, a rabbi in 1970's New Orleans. Along the way, he gets to know (and love, in a variety of ways) the family of a Nobel prize winning physicist and he himself becomes a cosmologist.
(more) 


Break Your Heart (2015) 
 Rhonda Helms 

The cultural diversity in this romance novel about the affair between an AfricanAmerican math major and her Japanese cryptography professor is a pleasant surprise, but that is just about the only positive thing I can think to say. It does not seem to have anything interesting to say about either mathematics or academia. They are just the backdrop for a forbidden erotic encounter. (more) 


The Calculus of Love (2011) 
 Dan Clifton (Writer and Director) 

A professor who is obsessed with proving Goldbach's Conjecture challenges a class of graduate students to make any progress on it. But, is he truly motivated by a love of pure mathematics and its search... (more) 


Calculus of Murder (1986) 
 Erik Rosenthal 

"The hero is a parttime instructor and
researcher at Berkeley and moonlights as a PI. He solves his cases
using calculus. The narrative is excellent, humorous, and believable."
Actually, I just... (more) 


Cap and Gown (2011) 
 Eric Flint 

Richard Leamington has an impact on mathematics at Cambridge University in the 17th Century despite his multiple sclerosis. Although Leamington himself is a fictional character, many of the other characters... (more) 


The Capacity for Infinite Happiness (2015) 
 Alexis von Konigslow 

A math grad student trying to start her thesis on graph theory discovers some of her family's secrets when visiting their resort in Canada.
Graph theory involves the study of vertices (points or dots)... (more) 


The Catalyst [The Strange Attractor] (1991) 
 Desmond Cory 

Mathematics professor John Dobie gets caught up in a truly mindboggling
mystery when one of his former students, his wife's best friend, and then
his own wife wind up dead, and the police consider him to be a prime
suspect.
This is the first, my personal favorite, of the three "Professor Dobie
Mysteries" written by British author Desmond Cory. (See also "The Mask of Zeus" and " (more) 


A Catastrophe Machine (2004) 
 Carter Scholz 

A wellwritten, vaguely surrealistic story loosely based on the real mathematical field of catastrophe theory and set within the context of the Vietnam War.
The title is taken from an invention of mathematician... (more) 


The Center of the Universe (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

This short story was intended to serve two different purposes. On the one hand it is a glimpse into the lives and interactions of mathematics graduate students. And, on the other, it addresses the philosophical... (more) 


A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel (2007) 
 Gaurav Suri / Hartosh Singh Bal 

The intertwined stories of Ravi, a Stanford student taking a course on "Infinity" in the 1980's, and his grandfather who was jailed for blasphemy in New Jersey in 1919 constitute a philosophical investigation... (more) 


The Chair of Philanthromathematics (1908) 
 O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) 

Jeff Peters and Andy Tucker, con men in
the O. Henry stories collected in this volume, are a bit
uncomfortable after scoring a really big scam. So they
... (more) 


Children of Dune (1976) 
 Frank Herbert 

This third novel in the "Dune" series (which was also made into a TV miniseries) contains a wonderful (but rather brief and not very significant) bit of fictional mathematics. The following quotation... (more) 


Coffee, Love and Matrix Algebra (2014) 
 Gary Ernest Davis 

This novel follows a year in the life of Jeffrey Albacete, a mathematics professor at a Rhode Island University, who is best known as the author of a textbook on matrix algebra.
Although I think it... (more) 


Coincidence (2013) 
 J.W. Ironmonger 

This book begins with the discovery of a threeyear old girl named Azalea, alone at a seaside fairground and goes on to show us that her life is filled with surprising coincidences. When she grows up... (more) 


Com os Meus Olhos de Cão [With My Dog Eyes] (1986) 
 Hilda Hilst 

An aphasic Brazillian mathematics professor narrates his own decline into insanity.
Hilda Hilst was a Brazillian author whose works often addressed the topic of insanity (perhaps because both of her parents... (more) 


Completeness (2011) 
 Itamar Moses 

This play, currently in production at New York's Playwrights Horizons Mainstage Theater, tells the story of a romance between a biology graduate student and a computer science graduate student. Having... (more) 


Comrades in Miami (2005) 
 Jose Latour 

Colonel Victoria Valiente is an important figure in the Communist party of Cuba. However, her husband is a famous mathematician, Manuel Pardo. Manuel's job allows him to travel widely and he becomes... (more) 


Continuums (2008) 
 Robert Carr 

The decisions we make and the difficulty in accepting the consequences is the main focus of this book about a Romanian mathematician who leaves her country and her daughter to be in a place that she could... (more) 


Damned Souls and Statistics (2011) 
 Robert Dawson 

A statistician sells her soul to the devil in exchange for guaranteed tenure, but redeems herself by creating a cleverly useless confidence interval.
I like the part about the realization during her... (more) 


Dark Integers (2007) 
 Greg Egan 

The ``cold war'' between this universe with our mathematical laws and a bordering universe with different ones (which began in "Luminous") heats up when the numerical experiments of a mathematical physicist... (more) 


Death of an Avid Reader: A Kate Shackleton Mystery (2017) 
 Frances Brody 

A strangled body is found in a supposedly haunted library in England in the 1920's. It turns out to belong to Dr. Potter, a math professor known for being a stylish dandy as well as for his intelligence.... (more) 


A Deprogrammer's Tale (2000) 
 Colin Adams 

This spoof presents the attempts of math professors to convince students to become math majors and the subsequent interest of those students in math as if it were a religious cult. Told from the point... (more) 


The Devotion of Suspect X [Yôgisha X no kenshin] (2005) 
 Keigo Higashino 

Reclusive high school math teacher Tetsuya Ishigami is "devoted" to two things: his math research and his neighbor, Yasuko Hanaoka. When Hanaoka and her daughter kill her abusive exhusband, they are... (more) 


A Disappearing Number (2007) 
 Simon McBurney 

Scenes of Srinivasa Ramanujan's collaboration with G.H. Hardy around the time of World War I are mixed in with modern storylines including an Indian physicist who has applied Ramanujan's work to String... (more) 


The Distant Dead (2020) 
 Heather Young 

When a boy named Sal discovers the burned body of his middle school math teacher, two amateur sleuths try to determine who killed him. One of them is Jake, the volunteer fireman to whom Sal initially... (more) 


Do the Math: A Novel of the Inevitable (2008) 
 Philip Persinger 

A math graduate student becomes an intern for a math professor famous for his `theory of inevitability' but ends up also helping his wife (an even more famous author of romance novels) write a book using... (more) 


Domaine [Domain] (2009) 
 Patric Chiha (screenplay and director) 

This subtle, slow and depressing French film concerns the relationship between a homosexual teenager and his alcoholic aunt. She is a math professor whose research is connected to Gödel's Theorem, and... (more) 


A Doubter's Almanac (2016) 
 Ethan Canin 

This literary novel follows the life of the fictional mathematical genius Milo Andret from his youth in Michigan, though his education at Berkeley and the winning of a Fields Medal as a Princeton math... (more) 


Dr. Casey’s Temporization (1979) 
 Jean McGarry 

I could not quite understand this short story or its purpose. A mathematics professor has assigned some problem to students and during his studentvisit hours (presumably), a female student shows up... (more) 


Dr. No: A Novel (2022) 
 Percival Everett 

Wala Kitu is a professor of mathematics at Brown University who specializes in nothing. (It is not that he doesn't have a specialty. He is an expert in the very concept of nothingness.) His best friends... (more) 


Drunkard's Walk (1960) 
 Frederik Pohl 

A number theorist is suffering from frequent and
inexplicable suicide attempts, the latest victim of a small epidemic among
academia. In between lectures on Pascal's triangle and the binomial
theorem... (more) 


Echoes from the Past (2006) 
 Edward MichelBird 

A young mathematics professor becomes involved in a mystery and a love affair when the identity of his true biological father is called into question. No mathematical ideas or results are discussed in... (more) 


The Einstein SeeSaw (1932) 
 Miles J. Breuer 

This is another of the hyperspace stories by Miles Breuer. This time, a mathematical physicist discovers that mattter can be tossed around in and out of space(time) [see his papers, "A Preliminary Report... (more) 


El matemático (1988) 
 Arturo Azuela 

It is a kind of bildungsroman narrated by a sexagenarian mathematician who makes a mathematical discovery in the verge of the year 2000. Of course, there is the detail of considering the year 2000 the... (more) 


The Embalmer's Book of Recipes (2009) 
 Ann Lingard 

An unusual and intimate novel that follows three women: a widowed sheepfarmer, a mathematician who studies quasicrystals, and a taxidermist (whose included blog entries explain the title of the book).... (more) 


The End of Mr. Y (2006) 
 Scarlett Thomas 

After her thesis advisor disappears, a graduate students studying "thought experiments" in science and in fiction discovers a copy of the rare (and supposedly cursed) book "The End of Mr. Y". Following... (more) 


Erasmus with Freckles [aka Dear Brigitte] (1963) 
 John Haase 

The novel Erasmus with Freckles (1963) about a college English professor who hates math and science whose son is a math prodigy, was adapted into the film Dear Brigitte (1965) and rereleased as a novel... (more) 


Eternal (2021) 
 Lisa Scottoline 

While living under the fascist regime of Mussolini in prewar Rome, a Jewish prodigy attends university mathematics classes taught by LeviCivita and forms one vertex of a "love triangle". The romance and the impact of antisemitism on academia receive equal attention in this serious work of historical fiction from an author better known for light fare. (more) 


Euclid Alone (1975) 
 William F. Orr 

An administrator in the math department of a major research institute
has to decide how to handle a paper which proves the inconsistency of
Euclidean geometry.
Math is definitely central to this... (more) 


The Exception (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

Written in the form of a dialogue between a man in a nursing home and his grandchild, this short story describes an undergraduate research project that produces a surprising answer to one of the most famous... (more) 


Eye of the Beholder (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

Shortly after a stunning success in her research, personal tragedy forces a math professor to change careers and begin work at the NSA where her work on cryptography involves some difficult ethical decisions.... (more) 



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

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".... (more) 


The Favor (1994) 
 Donald Petrie (Director) / Sara Parriott (Writer) / Josann McGibbon (Writer) 

A romantic comedy in which a woman married to a math professor wonders what it would have been like to have been with her old boyfriend and so convinces her girlfriend to sleep with him and report back.... (more) 


Fear of Math (1985) 
 Peter Cameron 

A feathertouch story about a young woman who comes to New York to do an MBA  and has to pass a Calculus course, a prerequisite for an MBA. A brief description of how utterly lost she is after her... (more) 


Feigenbaum Number (1995) 
 Nancy Kress 

A postdoc who perceives reality different than other people (he sees something like the Platonic ideals people ought to be) works with a professor on combining chaos theory with particle physics. I'm... (more) 


Final Exam (2011) 
 Robert Dawson 

A math professor nearing retirement and displeased with trends in academia decides to use his final exam (the last he will ever give) to get his revenge on the cheating students in his calculus class.... (more) 


Final Integer (2021) 
 Thomas Reed Willemain 

In this short story, a number theorist is obsessed with one number, the date of his own death:
It has been said that number theory was once the purest of pure math. But in David’s academic circle,... (more) 


The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem (2000) 
 Rinne Groff 

I think this play about a number theory conference at the British seaside at the turn of the 20th century may be misunderstood. The plot revolves around the neuroses of the senior researcher, Moses Vazsonyi,... (more) 


Flame War: A Cyberthriller (1997) 
 Joshua Quittner / Michelle Slatalla 

A brilliant math professor invents a code that even the government will not be able to break. When he dies in an explosion, his daughter and the law student who (unknowingly) delivered the bomb that killed him work together to bring the killers to justice. (more) 


Flowers Stained with Moonlight (2005) 
 Catherine Shaw 

In this sequel to The ThreeBody Problem, Vanessa Duncan is called upon to save an innocent young woman, falsely suspected of murdering her older and unlikable husband. Although there is no mathematics... (more) 


Folk Music Festivals
and Mathematics
Conferences (2015) 
 Erik Talvila 

The narrator in this work of mathematical fiction attends both a music festival and a math research conference. This allows the author, a math professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, to compare... (more) 


The Forever Marriage (2012) 
 Ann Bauer 

The unlikeable and unfaithful wife of a math professor only learns to appreciate the husband she never loved after his untimely death. The mathematician is humble but otherwise stereotypically brilliant (offered full professorships immediately upon receiving his PhD), unemotional and unromantic. (more) 


Four Brands of Impossible (1964) 
 Norman Kagan 

In the futuristic 1980's, a math student graduates from multiversity and gets a job with a megacorporation which is trying to do the impossible, literally. Along with his friends (a psychologist and an... (more) 


The FourColor Puzzle: Falling Off the Map (2013) 
 Lior Samson 

A math professor becomes intrigued with a high school student he meets at an online tutoring site when she presents him with what appears to be a short and very clever proof of the fourcolor theorem.... (more) 


G103 (2006) 
 Oliver Tearne (director) 

This short film "shows a surreal day in the life of a mathematics undergraduate" taking the math course G103 at the University of Warwick. In fact, the Website makes it sound as if it is an informational... (more) 


Gaming Instinct (Spieltrieb) (2004) 
 Juli Zeh 

[The math in this novel which was a best seller in Germany in 2004 is]
recognizable not only for experts, so it is mentioned in almost every
review. Zeh learned about game theory and the prisoner's... (more) 


The Geometry of Narrative (1983) 
 Hilbert Schenck 

This story begins with a character who is a graduate student of English proposing to his professor a new geometric approach to literary analysis. As he points out, this has been used to some limited degree... (more) 


Gifted (2017) 
 Marc Webb (director) / Tom Flynn (writer) 

Mary is a seven year old math prodigy being raised by her uncle (Chris Evans from Captain America) after her mother's suicide. The uncle believes he is following his sister's wishes by trying to raise... (more) 


The God Patent (2009) 
 Ransom Stephens 

After his life falls apart, an engineer tries to revive a collaboration with the fundamentalist Christian with whom he once wrote two patents based on the Bible. While he viewed these patents for what... (more) 



Goldman's Theorem (2009) 
 R.J. Stern 

Hired by the littleknown "University of Northern Vermont", Professor Goldman does not seem to be living up to his promise as a great math researcher. Under pressure from his superiors, he claims to have... (more) 


Good Benito (1994) 
 Alan P. Lightman 

This novel presents many instances in the life of mathematical physicist
Bennett Lang, the "Benito" of the title. The different scenes, presented
nonchronologically, cover most of his life from early... (more) 


Good Will (1989) 
 Jane Smiley 

A poor couple living on a rural farm deal with the intrusions of the "outside world", including an affluent and worldly AfricanAmerican math professor and her young daughter.
I don't think there... (more) 


Good Will Hunting (1997) 
 Gus Van Sant (director) / Matt Damon (Screenplay) 

A young janitor at MIT solves a (supposedly) difficult problem left on
a black board by a Fields medalist. This successful film did make
many more people aware of the existence of the Fields medal.... (more) 


The Gostak and the Doshes (1930) 
 Miles J. Breuer (M.D.) 

In this classic science fiction story, a mathematical physicist convinces his friend to try to travel into another dimension by merely altering the way he thinks about things. The friend finds himself... (more) 


The Heart on the Other Side (1962) 
 George Gamow 

A math professor and his beloved girlfriend try to imagine how they could win the approval of her father for their marriage. She laments that he could only do so by being helpful in her father's profession,... (more) 


Herr Doctor's Wondrous Smile (1998) 
 Vladimir Tasic 

In this short story, a logician who really does not take the superstitions
of numerology seriously is invited to a "fringe" conference where he
delivers a talk on the mystical implications of Gregory... (more) 


Hole in the Paper Sky (2008) 
 Howard Kingkade (Screenplay) / Bill Purple (Director) 

An antisocial mathematics graduate student is forced to take a job in his university's psychology department where he gets to know a dog used for laboratory experiments. In risking all to save the dog,... (more) 


The Hollow Man (1993) 
 Dan Simmons 

A psychic mathematician is driven to the edge of insanity as his life partner approaches death. The mathematician's research is described explicitly  as are some of the horrific events that befall... (more) 


The Humans: A Novel (2013) 
 Matt Haig 

After Cambridge mathematician Andrew Martin proves the Riemann Hypothesis, he is replaced by an alien whose job it is to prevent news of the discovery from spreading as it is their belief that humans are... (more) 


The Hyland Resolution (2020) 
 Justin Tarquin 

Charles Hyland is the sort of math professor who can be totally distracted by a mathematical question while he and several academic colleagues are under attack by an enemy army on the moon. (Specifically,... (more) 


The Idiot (2017) 
 Elif Batuman 

A farce about a TurkishAmerican Harvard freshman. As she is trying to figure out who she is and what academia is about, she meets an older math major with whom she develops both a romantic and intellectual... (more) 


Im Schatten des Regenbogens (1993) 
 Helga Königsdorf 

Desillusioned after
the fall of communism, several academicans are willlessly
"abgewickelt" (read: annexed and thrown onto the scrap heap)
by the Western "invaders".
Contains a few references to her old "Lemma 1", a mention
of the Mandelbrot set and a short discussion of the pattern
paradox (1,2,3,4,5,6 in lottery is as probable as any other
combination drawn).
(more) 


Immortal Bird (1961) 
 H. Russell Wakefield 

Professor Brandley, a "young" man of 53, wants nothing more than to attain the position of Regius Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Metropolitan University in London so that he could train "disciples... (more) 


Imperativ (1982) 
 Krzysztof Zanussi 

It is about a mathematician (a probability professor) in existential crisis about the nature of necessity and chance.
(more) 


Improbable (2005) 
 Adam Fawer 

A probability expert suffering from epilepsy (with hints of schizophrenia) is in over his head with gambling debts to the Russian mob and a beautiful, renegade CIA agent before discovering that he has the ability to predict the future. A running subplot is the mathematical aspects of determinism (i.e. (more) 


In the Shadow of Gotham (2009) 
 Stefanie Pintoff 

The first victim in this murder mystery is a female math grad student at Columbia University in the year 1905. I'm sure many of the fans of this Edgar Award winning firstnovel would mention the historical... (more) 


Incendies (2010) 
 Denis Villeneuve / Valérie BeaugrandChampagne / Wajdi Mouawad 

After their mother is struck speechless at a pool, resulting in her hospitalization and then her death, twins Jeanne and Simon are given two sealed envelopes and told to deliver them to the father they... (more) 


The Indian Clerk (2007) 
 David Leavitt 

Acclaimed author, Leavitt, presents a fictionalized version of one of the most famous "human interest stories" in mathematical history: the short life and career of Srinivasa Ramanujan. Focusing largely... (more) 


The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells (Episode: The Truth about Pyecraft) (2001) 
 Chris Harrald (Script) / Clive Exton (Script) / Herbert George Wells (story) 

Please correct me if I'm mistaken here, but it seems that the 2001 TV miniseries The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells took the story ``The Truth about Pyecraft'', which has no math in it, and made the main... (more) 


Infinity (1996) 
 Patricia Broderick 

It's about the early years of Richard Feynman, up to the completion
of the Manhattan Project, and the death of his wife.
What I like particularily is a scene in NY's Chinatown where [Feynman]
races... (more) 


The Intangible (2022) 
 C.J. Washington 

Amanda is a data scientist who continues to show signs of pregnancy even after her miscarriage. Marissa is a math professor overwhelmed with guilt after a fatal accident. Their husbands are both nonmathematicians... (more) 


Into Thin Air (2000) 
 Colin Adams 

This was the first of Colin Adams' ``Mathematically Bent'' columns for the Mathematical Intelligencer, published back in Vol.22, No. 1, 2000. It combines many of the analogies between mountain climbing... (more) 


The Invention of Ana [Forestillinger om Ana Ivan] (2016) 
 Mikkel Rosengaard 

A Danish writer visiting New York becomes obsessed with the life story of Ana Ivan, a Romanian artist that he meets. She tells him about two lovers, about her parents' lives under the autocratic rule... (more) 


The Ishango Bone (2012) 
 Paul Hastings Wilson 

Amiele becomes the first female student at Trinity College and goes on to disprove the Riemann Hypothesis at the age of 26, but is denied the Fields Medal. Written as if it were her life story recorded... (more) 


It's My Turn (1980) 
 Claudia Weill (director) 

About a mathematician who writes a proof of the Snake Lemma at the
speed of
light. Her love interest was Michael Douglas, some sort of athlete.
One mathematician I know claims he wrote a paper just... (more) 



John Jones's Dollar (1915) 
 Harry Stephen Keeler 

The main mathematical content of this science fiction story is an illustration of the potential of exponential growth in the form of considering how a single dollar invested in a bank would grow in value... (more) 


The Judge's House (1914) 
 Bram Stoker 

A math student seeks a quiet place to study for his exams but winds up battling an angry ghost. Stoker certainly knew mathematical words to throw around (e.g. quaternions and conic sections), but this... (more) 


A Killer Theorem (2007) 
 Colin Adams 

Mangum, P.I. returns in this mystery in which the unproven Gauss' Last Lemma is wielded as a murder weapon. Apparently, a certain approach to proving it is so enticing that merely showing it to mathematicians... (more) 


Killing Time (2000) 
 Frank Tallis 

In this noir thriller, a British math grad student discovers antique lab equipment which allows him to see into the past and winds up murdering his girlfriend. Sex (explicitly described) and interpersonal... (more) 


Krise [Crisis] (1978) 
 Helga Königsdorf 

A pure mathematician at an East German research facility has already moved (not entirely by choice) to a technical institute when his paper on a crisis ["Krise"] in number theory is published. So, the... (more) 


The Last Equation of Isaac Severy (2018) 
 Nova Jacobs 

After mathematician Isaac Severy's suspicious death, his granddaughter follows the clues he left her to find and protect his final discovery.
In this murder mystery/family drama, Hazel Severy leaves... (more) 


The Last Theorem (2008) 
 Arthur C. Clarke / Frederik Pohl 

Ranjit Subramanian, the protagonist in this science fiction novel, is a young Sri Lankan man who (re)discovers a short and elementary proof of Fermat's Last Theorem while enduring torture during an unjust... (more) 


The Last Theorem (2008) 
 Buzz Mauro 

A depressed music professor ponders Fermat's Last Theorem and the implications of its proof by Andrew Wiles.
Like many of Mauro's other stories, this one is very well written, focusing not so much on... (more) 


Le théorème de Travolta (2002) 
 Olivier Courcelle 

The adventures of a young mathematician
trapped in the curious and delirious world of a
mathematical congress. A cross between
David Lodge and Groucho Marx.
I believe it has not been translated
into english (but should)
Very funny description of the mathematical world. Excellently written. Delirious.
(more) 



Leaning Towards Infinity (1996) 
 Sue Woolfe 

Tells the story of an Australian woman who wins a contest for the best
mathematical theory from an amateur mathematician. The prize is a trip to
a math conference in Athens. The theory proposed by... (more) 


Lemma 1 (1978) 
 Helga Königsdorf 

This short story by an East German author concerns a mathematics graduate student who realizes right before her thesis defense that Lemma 1 (the initial small step on which the rest of her results depend)... (more) 


Il Lemma di Levemberg (1996) 
 Marco Abate (writer) / S. Natali (artist) 

Published in an Italian comic book, this story (whose title translates as "Levemberg's Lemma") was written by Abate and illustrated by Natali. The author describes it for us as follows:
A (possibly... (more) 


Let's Play With Numbers [Suuji de Asobo] (2018) 
 Murako Kinuta 

The story follows Tateki Yokobe, a freshman in the math department of Yoshida University. Though formerly a top student, Yokobe quickly realises his eidetic memory is of no use in understanding highly... (more) 


Letters to a Young Mathematician (2006) 
 Ian Stewart 

I listed this one here before I had a chance to read it and am now wondering whether it should be counted as fiction at all. This is an excellent book which provides a lot of useful information about... (more) 


Lewis (Episode: Reputation) (2006) 
 Russell Lewis (Story) / Stephen Churchett (Screenplay) 

In this pilot episode of the spinoff from the popular Inspector Lewis television series, a female math student is murdered while she participates in a sleep study. Perfect numbers show up in the form... (more) 


The Library Paradox (2006) 
 Catherine Shaw 

Vanessa Duncan returns as the skilled amateur detective of Victorian England in this third mystery novel by "Catherine Shaw". (See The ThreeBody Problem and Flowers Stained with Moonlight for the earlier... (more) 


Life After Genius (2008) 
 M. Ann Jacoby 

Although his family would normally expect him to stay in their small town and take over the family business (a combination of a furniture store and funeral home), Mead Fegley's "genius" gives him the unprecedented... (more) 


The Limit (2019) 
 Freya Smith / Jack Williams 

This poprock musical about the life of mathematician Sophie Germain was performed in March 2019 at the VAULT festival in London.
The playwrights were supposedly looking for a historical female character... (more) 


Limited Wish (2019) 
 Mark Lawrence 

In this sequel to One Word Kill, math prodigy Nick Hayes develops the theory of time travel that his future self used to go back in time to meet himself in the first book. The idea, which sounds neat... (more) 



The Lost Books of the Odyssey (2008) 
 Zachary Mason 

The introduction to this novel is a work of pseudoscholarship, explaining how the chapters to follow were decoded by an NSA cryptographer with the help of the author. The intro contains references to... (more) 


Lucy and David and the God Equation (2011) 
 Alan McKenzie 

Lucy, a freshman at a Scottish University, and David, the graduate student who leads the problem sessions for her physics class, discuss the mathematical and philosophical implications of Gödel's First... (more) 


Luminous (1995) 
 Greg Egan 

A truly wonderful story in which two math grad students discover that the things we consider to be "truths" in number theory are actually part of a dynamical system, subject to change over time and in... (more) 


A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines (2006) 
 Janna Levin


This novel about Alan Turing and Kurt Gödel contains much that has already been said many times before, and occasionally "tries too hard" artistically. Still I very much enjoyed reading it, and even... (more) 


Magpie Lane (2020) 
 Lucy Atkins 

This wonderful novel is difficult to describe, somewhere between literary fiction and a procedural mystery with the atmosphere of a supernatural thriller. The book is narrated by Dee, a nanny who is being... (more) 


Maid of Murder (2010) 
 Amanda Flower 

Like the author of this murder mystery, protagonist India Hayes is a librarian at a small midwestern college. Presumably unlike the author, Hayes must prove the innocence of her mathematician brother... (more) 


Mailman (2000) 
 J. Robert Lennon 

The title character, called Mailman, is a mentally ill mailman
with criminal and deviant behavior with respect to the mail that
he handles. It turns out that Mailman had once been a mathematics
graduate... (more) 


Mangum, P.I. (2004) 
 Colin Adams 

A parody of the hardboiled private detective genre in which ``P.I.'' stands for ``Principal Investigator'', a phrase familiar to anyone who has applied for a research grant. In this hilarious story,... (more) 


A Map for the Missing (2022) 
 Belinda Huijuan Tang 

Tang Yitian, a ChineseAmerican math professor who grew up in China shortly after the revolution, undertakes a journey to find his estranged father.
Antiintellectualism always made it hard for Yitian... (more) 


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017) 
 Amy ShermanPalladino / Daniel Palladino 

The main plot of this show  which concerns the transformation of Midge Maisel from a Jewish housewife in the 1950s into a successful and edgy standup comic  has nothing to do with mathematics. So,... (more) 


The Math Code (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

A friend of mine once told me that he believes that mathematicians invented intentionally confusing notations to keep others from understanding what they were saying. I'm sure this is not true. We mathematicians... (more) 


Math is Murder (2012) 
 Robert C. Brigham / James B. Reed 

This is a murder mystery cowritten by an emeritus math professor and a retired crime scene investigator. The victim was an egotistical and (almost unbelievably) unpleasant mathematics department chair... (more) 


Math Takes a Holiday (2001) 
 Paul Di Filippo 

Saint Hubert and Saint Barbara, the two patron saints of mathematics,
pay a visit to a devout Catholic mathematics professor who has been
praying for a mathematical miracle to silence his mockers.... (more) 


Mathematical R & D (1979) 
 Paul J. Nahin 

This short short story, published in the professional journal
IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems describes a
talk by the (fictional) famous mathematician Professor Osgood. Greatly
limited... (more) 


Mathematically Bent (2000) 
 Colin Adams 

Geometer and knottheorist Colin Adams (Williams College, MA) has been writing this short, mathematicallywise and bitingly funny column in the quarterly issues of The Mathematical Intelligencer since... (more) 


A Mathematician's Galatea (2010) 
 Andrew Magrath 

As the author describes this story on his blog:
["Inhuman: Absolute XPress Flash Fiction Challenge #4" is] an anthology of stories all written from the perspective of a nonhuman character. I liked... (more) 


The Mathematician's Shiva (2014) 
 Stuart Rojstaczer 

When Rachela Karnokovich dies, her family's attempt to conduct the Jewish mourning ritual of sitting shiva is disturbed by the many strangers who descend on her Madison, WI home. Although she never won... (more) 


Mathematicians in Love (2006) 
 Rudy Rucker 

Together, two math grad students who are both in love with the same girl prove a theorem which characterizes all dynamical systems (from the stock market to the motion of particles) in terms of objects... (more) 


The Mathematics of Being Human (2015) 
 Michelle Osherow / Manil Suri 

A math professor and a literature professor attempt to collaborate on an interdisciplinary course in this semiautobiographical one act play.
To begin with, I should admit that nearly everything I know... (more) 


Mathematics of the Heart (2011) 
 Kefi Chadwick (playwright) / Donnacadh O'Briain (director) 

An expert on the mathematics of chaos theory deals with chaos in his own life in the form of a girlfriend seeking commitment, a brother crashing in his apartment, and a new graduate student.
I have not seen this play, but have only run across notices announcing its production at the Brighton Fringe festival in 2011. Additional information about the play would be most appreciated. (more) 


Maths a mort (1990) 
 Margot Bruyère 

This murder mystery which takes place at the IHES in Paris was originally entitled "Dismoi qui tu aimes (je te dirai
qui tu hais)". However, it has just been
be republished (Fall of 2002) with a change... (more) 


Measuring the World (2006) 
 Daniel Kehlmann 

Two famous Germans of the 19th Century, mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss and explorer/geologist Alexander von Humboldt, are irreverently presented in this novel which topped the sales charts in Germany... (more) 


The MindBody Problem (1983) 
 Rebecca Goldstein 

A philosophy graduate student seduces and marries a famous mathematician. They do not have a great marriage, but we are presented with some thought provoking passages concerning Princeton University,... (more) 


The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) 
 Barbra Streisand (director) / Richard LaGravenese (Writer) 

Love story with Jeff Bridges and Barbra Streisand as math and English
professors (respectively) at Columbia University in which they try (unsuccessfully) to achieve a marriage of deep companionship but... (more) 


Mirror Image (1972) 
 Isaac Asimov 

A robot volunteers the aid of his human, Earthling friend to settle a
dispute between a pair of feuding "spacer" mathematicians. It seems that an
old mathematician (over 270 years old in fact) and a... (more) 


Miss Havilland (2020) 
 Gay Daly 

Evelyn Havilland, who left her studies in mathematics at Stanford University in 1917 to aid with the war effort, must decide between marrying a linguistics professor she met when they were both working... (more) 


Monday Begins on Saturday (1966) 
 Arkady Strugatsky / Boris Strugatsky 

In this parody of the activity at Soviet research thinktanks, mathematics underlies the "science" of magic. Math is rarely discussed in depth and a knowledge of Russian fairy tales helps the reader to... (more) 


Monster (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

A story about group theory, plagiarism, the untapped potential of a collaboration between mathematics and marketing, the bleak financial future of academia, and the Monster.
This story talks about... (more) 


Morte di un matematico napoletano (1992) 
 Mario Martone (director) 

"This movie describes the last day in [the] life of a
famous Italian mathematician: Renato Caccioppoli. He was a fascinating and
discussed person in Naples' political and cultural life. [A] member... (more) 


MultiColored Dome (1987) 
 Martin Gardner 

A lighthearted, short story about a shy but precocious Math student working on symbolic logic (“he had read “Principia Mathematica” when he was in high school, and understood it,... (more) 


Murder at the Margin (1978) 
 Marshall Jevons 

This is the first of the Henry Spearman murder mysteries (the others
being THE FATAL EQUILIBRIUM and A DEADLY INDIFFERENCEthey can be read
in any order). These unusual murder mysteries star Harvard... (more) 


Murder by Mathematics (1948) 
 Hector Hawton 

The chair of the mathematics department at a British university and a shady bookseller are the victims in this "whodunnit"
published by Ward Lock & Co. (London and Melbourne) in 1948.
It was thanks... (more) 


The Murdered Mathematician (1949) 
 Harry Stephen Keeler 

This book is probably the least believable thing I've ever read, but lots of fun!
Quiribus Brown is a 7 1/2 foot tall man who was raised by his father on a farm in Indiana. His father was a math professor... (more) 


Music of the Spheres (2011) 
 Ken Liu 

The short stories in the anthology Mirror Shards all focus on augmented reality (AR), the idea that our perception of the world around us will be fundamentally changed by the use of advanced technology.... (more) 


The Mystic Cipher (2009) 
 Dennis Mangrum 

When an exArmy Ranger finds a mysterious coded document on his farm purporting to be the key to the location of a hidden treasure, he enlists the aid of his daughter, a math student. There is stereotypical... (more) 


Nachman (1998) 
 Leonard Michaels 

An American mathematician attends a conference in Poland, the country in which his grandparents were killed in a Nazi concentration camp. This is during the Cold War, and the American consul warns him... (more) 


Nagel im Himmel (2020) 
 Patrick Hofmann 

The protagonist in this novel grows up in a loveless, dysfunctional family, but finds refuge and success in mathematics until he is "saved" by a physicist.
Since I do not read German, my knowledge of... (more) 


Naked Came the Postmodernist (2013) 
 Sarah Lawrence College Writing Class WRIT3303R / Melvin Jules Bukiet 

Written as a group project by the students in a creative writing class at Sarah Lawrence College, this wacky academic farce takes the form of a whodunit, trying to identify the murderer of a math professor. (more) 


Nanny and the Professor (TV Series) (1970) 
 AJ Carothers (creator) / Thomas L. Miller (creator) 

A handsome math professor gets the help of a magical British nanny in raising his adorable kids in this early '70's sitcom.
I actually used to watch this show when I was a little kid, but had completely... (more) 


The Nesting Dolls (2020) 
 Alina Adams 

A novel in threeparts focusing on three women in the same family over the course of a century. It is the middle story, concerning Natasha Crystal, that is most strongly connected to mathematics. Natasha... (more) 


A New Golden Age (1981) 
 Rudy Rucker 

In this story, and in our world as well, mathematicians lament the
fact that legislators cannot sufficiently appreciate mathematics and
that this adversely affects the funding of their science. To address
this... (more) 


No One You Know (2008) 
 Michelle Richmond 

Having felt overshadowed by her mathematician older sister when she was alive, the main character becomes obsessed with her murder after the sister is killed. Using her sister's notebook describing her... (more) 


Not a Chance (2009) 
 Peter Haff 

A student harangues his physics professor about the possibility that all mathematical proofs are incorrect. His argument is based on the supposed uncertainty about the validity of proofs of the Four Color... (more) 


Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less (1976) 
 Jeffrey Archer 

A mathematics professor who lectures at Oxford on group theory is among four clever people who plot to get revenge on the con artist who duped them in this, the first novel by politician and now bestselling... (more) 


NUMB3RS (2005) 
 Nick Falacci / Cheryl Heuton 

This TV crime drama (premiered January 2005) follows the adventures of a pair of brothers, one a mathematics professor and the other an FBI agent, as they combine forces to solve mysteries.
Cool effects... (more) 


The Object (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

This is a mathematical horror story, written by someone who doesn't like horror stories. Since I'm the author, I can honestly (and humbly) admit that the result is kind of weird.
The plot concerns... (more) 


Off Day! (1953) 
 Al Feldstein (writer)/ Jack Kamen (artist) 

Believe it or not, this Weird Science story is essentially a lecture on the law of large numbers.
A very worried college professor tells his class he's just witnessed the failure of one of the most... (more) 


The Old Mathematician (1848) 
 Dinah Maria Muloch 

A very touching story full of pathos, quite reflective of the Victorian era ethos in the midnineteenth century. The writing is highgrade, though math content itself is nonexistent, since the story... (more) 


On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction (2003) 
 Karl Iagnemma 

The title of the story was the title of a chapter in the Ph.D. thesis that Joseph, the main character, was working on...but never finished. Instead, he wound up living with his advisor's daughter, working... (more) 


On the Occasion Of Your Graduation (2011) 
 Robert Dawson 

A thesis advisor entrusts his Ph.D. student with the responsibility of determining what to do with his discovery that mathematics contains inconsistencies.
This is one of several works of fiction that... (more) 



One Word Kill (2019) 
 Mark Lawrence 

Nick Hayes, a math prodigy with leukemia in the 1980's, meets his future self in this first book of the "Impossible Times" trilogy from Amazon's publishing arm. The consistent time loop that this creates... (more) 


Orpheus Lost: A Novel (2007) 
 Janette Turner Hospital 

This book is simultaneously a beautiful love story with frequent allusions to the myth of Orpheus, a political thriller, and a gut wrenching tear jerker about people whose lives are destroyed by war. ... (more) 


The Oxford Murders (2004) 
 Guillermo Martinez 

A young, Argentinian mathematician visiting the UK is drawn into a murder mystery when his landlord (a woman who had worked as a code breaker during World War II) is killed. A clue and the words "The... (more) 


Les Particules élémentaires [Elementary Particles] (1998) 
 Michel Houellebecq 

The following description is based on material sent to me by AnnieMichel Pajus (IREM PARIS 7) in French. Any error below is likely to be a mistake that I made in attempting to translate it.
This novel... (more) 


Partition (2003) 
 Ira Hauptman 

According to Ken Ribet's review of the San Francisco production in the Notices of the AMS, this play about the interaction between the mathematicians Hardy and Ramanujan explores the "partitions" that... (more) 


The Penultimate Conjecture (1999) 
 Leonard Michaels 

This is the most mathematical of Leonard Michaels' seven stories about the brilliant but antisocial UCLA mathematician, Nachman. In it, Nachman attends a conference in San Francisco at which a Swedish... (more) 


A Person of Interest (2008) 
 Susan Choi 

Professor Lee, an older math professor at a small midwestern university becomes a suspect when a package bomb kills the young and popular professor in the office next to his. More of a serious psychological... (more) 


The Phantom Scientist [Le Chercher Phantôme] (2013) 
 Robin Cousin 

This graphic novel takes place at at "The Institute for the Study of Complex and Dynamic Systems", which facilitates interactions between researchers in different disciplines. Although none of the researchers... (more) 


A Piece of Justice (1995) 
 Jill Paton Walsh 

The mathematics of tilings and quilting play background roles in this mystery in which a graduate student attempts to write a biography of the (fictitious) mathematician Gideon Summerfield. Summerfield... (more) 


Porter Piper (1849) 
 Anonymous 

A very light, very badly stereotyped, twodimensional story about one Porter Piper. He was a born genius, one destined to be a topclass mathematician. So much so that when he was delivered by his mother,... (more) 


Prime Suspect: The Anatomy of Integers and Permutations (2019) 
 Andrew Granville / Jennifer Granville / Robert J. Lewis (Illustrator) 

In this graphic novel, the surprising coincidences between complete factorizations of integers, permutations, and polynomials is presented as if it were the discovery of a forensic team investigating seemingly... (more) 


Problems for SelfStudy (2002) 
 Charles Yu 

The life of a mathematical physicist  from earning his PhD, through marriage, fatherhood and into a midlife crisis  presented in the form of homework exercises from a math book.
We first meet... (more) 


Professor Conundrum Mysteries! (2008) 
 Bill Streifer 

My book, Professor Conundrum Mysteries!...combines math education (nonfiction) and historical fiction.
The book consists of five stories that take place during important events in 20th century U.S.... (more) 


Professor Morgan's Moon (1899) 
 Stanley Waterloo 

A young mathematician asks for the hand of a senior mathematician's beautiful (and clever) daughter, but is refused on the grounds that his inability to support her financially was a mathematical certainty.... (more) 


Progress (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

The mathematics of ancient Egypt can look very strange to us today. For example, although they did not have many fractions, they did know about the number 2/3. Strangely, however, it took a page of computation... (more) 


Proof (2000) 
 David Auburn 

This Pulitzer Prize winning play (now also a film) focuses on a daughter who took care of her father after his mental disorder forced him to give up his successful career as a mathematician. After the... (more) 


Proof by Induction (2021) 
 José Pablo Iriarte 

Paul Gifford is a waitingfortenure professor of mathematics at a university. His father, a professoremiritus of mathematics at the same university has just passed away. This death has come at a very... (more) 


A Proof of God (2004) 
 Colin Adams 

A mathematician is approached by a seemingly crazy old man who claims to have a proof of the existence of God, but later it seems that he might not be so crazy after all in this hilarious spoof from Adams'... (more) 


The Proof of Love (2011) 
 Catherine Hall 

A Cambridge maths grad student takes a holiday in England's remote and rural Lake District, hoping to be able to make progress on his research but instead learning more about his own humanity. A major... (more) 


Properties of Light (2000) 
 Rebecca Goldstein 

This is a beautifully written novel about a theoretical physicist who
hates the daughter of a more senior physicist whose work he
admires. The real plot of the novel revolves around why he hates her,... (more) 


Pythagoras' Revenge: A Mathematical Mystery (2009) 
 Arturo Sangalli 

Freelance science journalist Sangalli has written a book which presents some historical information about Pythagoras and his beliefs in the form of a novel of the detail driven conspiracy theory adventure... (more) 


Q.E.D. (1977) 
 Jack Eric Morpurgo 

A short, heartbreaking tale which captures the heartache which, not so uncommonly, befalls a researcher who makes a monumental discovery, only to find that independently and unbeknownst to her, someone... (more) 


Quicksilver: The Baroque Cycle Volume 1 (2003) 
 Neal Stephenson 

This long novel from the author of Cryptonomicon does for 17th Century mathematics what that earlier novel did for the 20th century. Namely, it deifies some great historical mathematicians (this time... (more) 


Quod Erat Demonstrandum (2013) 
 Andrei Gruzsniczki (Director and Screenwriter) 

A mathematician is persecuted for failing to join the communist party in this film that starkly portrays life in Romania under Nicolae Ceausescu.
In the film, Sorin Parvu has proved an important... (more) 


Reality Conditions (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

The title story in the collection of the same name, this short story follows a mathematics grad student to a workshop at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute. Although the story contains no supernatural... (more) 



Risqueman (2009) 
 Mike Wood 

A brilliant (and beautiful) French mathematician is distressed by governmental misuse of her algorithm which accurately predicts accidents and disasters that previously were only determined probabilistically.... (more) 



Rough Strife (1980) 
 Lynne Sharon Schwartz 

This is the story of the courtship, marriage and affairs of Ivan (who works on the business side of the art world) and Caroline (a math professor).
Although there are plenty of clues to the knowledgeable... (more) 


The Rubbish Researchers Puzzle (2018) 
 Michael W. Lucht 

Thanks to Dr. Allan Goldberg for bringing to my attention this humorous short story about a math professor hiding in a New Zealand pub from an angry looking mob of blueeyed Pacific Islanders.
It concerns... (more) 


Rucker  A Life Fractal by Eli Halberstam (1991) 
 John Allen Paulos 

Like Lem's De Impossibilitate Vitae and Prognoscendi , this is a work of fiction that takes the form of a book review. (As Paulos explains in his introduction, "Reviewing [a] book which hasn't been written... (more) 


Rumpled Stiltskin (2004) 
 Colin Adams 

Do you remember the old Fractured Fairy Tales segment on Rocky and Bullwinkle in which classic stories were updated with a twist? This is just like those. The old Grimm's Brother tale is retold, but... (more) 


San (2000) 
 Lan Samantha Chang 

A short story in the collection "Hunger" about a girl who becomes interested in mathematics (especially probability) when her gambler father deserts his family. She does not succeed as a college student and learns in the end that in both math and life, it is the mysteries (and not their solutions) which are of real interest.
(more) 


Satisfactory Proof (2005) 
 Cynthia Morrison Phoel 

A Master's degree student pouts and complains about the people around him as he earns his Master's degree in mathematics at a Bulgarian university.
Although the titular phrase "satisfactory proof" appears... (more) 


Say Wen (1930) 
 Ellis Parker Butler 

If you have a story’s tagline as...
“I assure you that I am not an unduly formal woman, but I consider it decidedly undignified for a dean of a coeducational college to hold a Professor of Higher... (more) 


Scandal in the Fourth Dimension (1934) 
 Amelia Reynolds Long (as "A.R. Long") 

This is yet another pulp "scifi" story about a math professor who discovers the fourth dimension, and it barely mentions any math. However, there are two things I find interesting about it.
One is... (more) 


Secrets to the Grave (2011) 
 Tami Hoag 

Mathematician Zander Zahn is suspected of having murdered an artist in this followup to the novel "Deeper than the Dead". Almost no mathematics is actually discussed, not even the tiny amount one often... (more) 


The Shackles of Conviction (2008) 
 James R. Meyer 

This novel intersperses a fictionalized account of the life of Kurt Gödel with the modern tale of an engineer who realizes (and eventually convinces the world) that Gödel's proof was flawed and that his (more) 


Shaffery Among the Immortals (1972) 
 Frederik Pohl 

A funny yarn about one Jeremy Shaffery, an astronomer who idolizes Einstein and his methods and who wants to achieve immortal fame by doing something just as famous. The problem is that he is not built... (more) 


She Wrote the Book (1946) 
 Oscar Brodney (writer) / Warren Wilson (writer) / Charles Lamont (director) 

A modest and shy female math professor develops amnesia and completely changes her behavior when she comes to believe she is the author of steamy romance models. According to Burkard Polster and Marty... (more) 


Signal to Noise (1999) 
 Eric S. Nylund 

The protagonist in this science fiction novel, Jack Potter, is a tenure track math professor in a future where San Francisco has sunk under the ocean, all nonacademic employment in the United States... (more) 


Silas P. Cornu's Dry Calculator (1898) 
 Henry Hering 

A very hilarious short story about a man who wants to build a mechanical calculator to evaluate logarithms but has success building a machine that can do only addition and multiplication. On the other... (more) 


Silicon Muse (1984) 
 Hilbert Schenck 

Schenck's other Analog story would provide a geometric means of analyzing this one, but that is not why it is listed here. The story is about a computer that can write fiction about a computer that can... (more) 


The Simplest Equation (2014) 
 Nicky Drayden 

Mariah is a Stanford University math major who has lost her interest in the subject of mathematics. She is initially annoyed when Kwalla takes the seat next to hers in class. Kwalla is an alien with... (more) 


The Simpsons: Girls Just Want to Have Sums (2006) 
 Matt Selman 

In this episode from the 17th season of the hit cartoon The Simpsons, the principal of Bart and Lisa's school makes a sexist comment (clearly a reference to the controversial comments from Harvard President... (more) 


Singer Distance (2022) 
 Ethan Chatagnier 

At the beginning of this novel, MIT math grad student Crystal Singer and a group of her friends are on a road trip to Arizona where they plan to carve a giant message to the inhabitants of Mars. Singer... (more) 


Singleton (2002) 
 Greg Egan 

This story involves a physicist and a mathematician who have a child  well, sort of  that they have specially designed to remain in a "classical" state (as opposed to a quantum superposition of states)... (more) 


The Singularities (2022) 
 John Banville 

This ambitious novel may be the capstone to the body of work by the critically acclaimed Irish author John Banville. The closing words suggest that it is a finale to his career. And a clever plot conceit... (more) 


The Sinister Researches of C.P. Ransom (1951) 
 Homer C. Nearing Jr. 

"[D]escribed on the cover as a science fiction novel, which is two
mistakes in three words...it is [mathematical fiction], and it is a
collection of short stories that originally appeared in The Magazine
of... (more) 



The Song of the Geometry Instructor (1985) 
 Ralph M. Berry 

While snowed in at his home, a geometer writes to his former lover about his students, his discoveries and how much he misses her.
This is one of those literary art pieces by an author for whom mathematics... (more) 


Sorority House (1956) 
 Jordan Park (Cyril M. Kornbluth and Frederik Pohl) 

Sorority House is a lesbian pulp novel written in 1956 by Cyril M. Kornbluth (19231958) and Frederik Pohl (1919 ) under the pen name "Jordan Park". The main character is a mentally unstable young... (more) 


The Square Root of 2 (2015) 
 Hackie Reitman (writer and director) / Bernard Salzmann (director) 

A movie about the difficulties faced by an autistic young woman with overprotective parents who attends college to pursue a career in mathematics. Author/director Reitman is an M.D. with an interest in... (more) 


The Square Root of Murder (2011) 
 Ada Madison 

Math professor Sophie Knowles turns amateur detective when an unpopular colleague is found dead in his office in this entertaining but light mystery novel.
From reading comments at Amazon, I have learned... (more) 


Stay Close, Little Ghost (2013) 
 Oliver Serang 

This is a bizarre, psychedelic and semiautobiographical novel about a man named Oliver who has an uncanny ability to find fourleaf clovers, spends much of his time working on a mathematical problem,... (more) 


The Steradian Trail (2013) 
 M.N. Krish 

This mathematical thriller takes place in India where American computer science professor Joshua Ezekiel is attempting to figure out the twisted criminal plot that his recently murdered student had become... (more) 


Strange Attractors (1993) 
 Rebecca Goldstein 

"Strange attractors: Collection of short stories, some of which have
mathematical content. Two stories (the geometry of soap bubbles and
impossible love and strange attractors) figure the same
main... (more) 


Strange Attractors (2013) 
 Charles Soule (author) / Greg Scott (Illustrator) 

This is is graphic novel in which a mathematics student seeks the help of a seemingly insane genius who claims he has been using chaos theory to save the city of New York from disaster for decades.
Heller... (more) 


Strike Your Heart (2017) 
 Amélie Nothomb 

This French novel is primarily about jealousy and how it poisons relationships between women. However, one recurring minor character is a Fields medalist working in topology. Like many mathematicians... (more) 


A Study in Seduction (2012) 
 Nina Rowan 

From the back cover: "A heart divided...a passion multiplied...a love unequalled."
Although you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, I could guess from the image of a shirtless man with no chest hair... (more) 


Super 30 (2019) 
 Vikas Bahl (director) / Sanjeev Dutta (writer) 

A superb Bollywood movie based on a real life hero, Anand Kumar, who seems so fictional and yet, so very real in the context of a country like India. The very best in human values which appeal to a higher... (more) 


Teen Patti (2010) 
 Leena Yadav (Director) 

This Bollywood film features Ben Kingsley as a math professor whose theory of probability allows him (and a team of student helpers) to win huge sums of money gambling. The plot sounds suspiciously similar... (more) 


The Tenth Muse (2019) 
 Catherine Chung 

This wideranging work of historical fiction unfolds in the period from just before World War II into the 1960s, in America, Europe and Asia. In the first chapter, the narrator is already an aging mathematician... (more) 


The Theory of Death (2015) 
 Faye Kellerman 

The apparent suicides of a math student and math professor at Kneed Loft College are investigated by a detective, his wife, and a former detective now studying law. It was sufficiently engrossing and... (more) 


The Thesis of the AbsentMinded Master (1971) 
 Vladimir Levshin 

[This is the first book in the] trilogy called "The
Master of the AbsentMinded Sciences". The heroes of the other books
(and the author) establish a club, where they analyze the notes (and,
later,letters)... (more) 


Those Who Can, Do (1965) 
 Bob Kurosaka 

In this shortshort classic, a mathematics professor ends the first day
of a Differential Equations class asking for questions. One student is
irksome, even peculiar, in his wish to know what practical... (more) 


The Three Body Problem (2004) 
 Catherine Shaw 

A cleverly titled novel that uses a historical mathematical contest
and several characters based on real mathematicians as the basis for a
murder mystery. Of special interest is the novel's presentation... (more) 


Tigor (aka The Snowflake Constant) (1991) 
 Peter Stephan Jungk 

In this novel, a mathematics professor is emotionally wounded to the point of temporary insanity by the lack of acceptance of his geometric theory of snowflakes and runs away. His journey takes him to... (more) 


Time Bends (The Students Tale) in The Rags of Time (2009) 
 Maureen Howard 

The poetic ramblings of an aging author confined to her New York apartment, who presumably is Maureen Howard herself, include short stories about the ongoing lives of her characters, including the math... (more) 


To Walk the Night (1937) 
 William Sloane 

A beautifully written horror tale in which vague references to equations are used to explain the mysterious death of a researcher who believed he proved Einstein wrong and the subsequent suicide of his colleague. The book is narrated in a quaintly oldfashioned style by the colleague's best friend and a key character is the lovely but apparently inhuman woman who was married to each victim. (more) 


The Tolman Trick (2006) 
 Manil Suri 

Professor Tolman attends a conference at the Mathematics Institute at Oberwolfach, but a young colleague suspects that the result he is presenting may not be correct. Published in the first issue of Subtropics,... (more) 


Too Much Happiness (2009) 
 Alice Munro 

The penultimate collection of short stories from Nobel laureate Alice Munro features a title story about the final days of Sonia Kovalevskaya. The main source of tension in the story is her love affair... (more) 


Turing's Apples (2008) 
 Stephen Baxter 

Story about a faraway civilization transmitting a complex message in all directions, containing a software program (“Turing machine”) which ends up creating von Neumann machines with one... (more) 


Twisted (2004) 
 Jonathan Kellerman 

One of the main characters is a graduate student pursing a Ph.D. in biostatistics, who notes to police detectives that coincidences in the circumstances of several murders are statistically significant,... (more) 


Ultima Dea [The Last Goddess] (1994) 
 Gianni Riotta 

Unfortunately this book does not appear to have been
translated from the original Italian. One of the central
characters in the book, Alfred Diognetus (described as a
"saint mathematician") is the... (more) 


Ultima lezione a Gottinga [Last lecture at Göttingen] (2009) 
 Davide Osenda 

This beautifully illustrated comic book presents a professor's last lecture to a (nearly) empty auditorium as the Nazi's begin to gather the city's Jews outside. It is perhaps a stretch to call this "fiction";... (more) 


The Ultimate Prime (2001) 
 Tom Petsinis 

A story narrated in second person about a youth with autism whose only interest is mathematics.
Since "you" are the protagonist in this story, it puts the reader inside the mind of an individual who... (more) 


Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture (1992) 
 Apostolos Doxiadis 

This novel, recently (2000) translated from Greek, follows the attempts of
fictional mathematician Petros Papachristos to prove Goldbach's
Conjecture (that every even number greater than two is the sum... (more) 


A Universe of Sufficient Size (2019) 
 Miriam Sved 

It is only after the death of her father that an Australian sculptor learns that her mother was one of five Hungarian Jews mathematicians who worked on math research together in a public park as Hitler... (more) 


The Unknown Quantity (1933) 
 Hermann Broch 

"Here the main character is a
mathematician who learns, through love and tragedy, that the `unknown
quantity' of life resists mathematical formulation."
(more) 


Until Tomorrow, Then (2010) 
 Shaun Hamill (writer and director) 

A short film about a young mathematician obsessed with working out the "rate the universe is running down" so that he can determine time that the universe will end.
One of the two other characters... (more) 


A Very Peculiar Practice (1986) 
 Andrew Davies 

In this television series about a medical doctor at a British university, a recurring character during the first season was a mathematician who was the doctor's roommate, Chen. Their "flat" was therefore... (more) 


The Visiting Professor (1994) 
 Robert Littell 

Lemuel Falk, a ``randomnist'' from the Steklov Institute in Russia
gets a visiting position at a chaos research institute in Upstate New
York in this academic farce. He meets a drunkard who studies... (more) 


White Light, or What is Cantor's Continuum Problem? (1980) 
 Rudy Rucker 

I think the best description of this book is Naked Lunch
meets The Wild Numbers, with a cameo appearance by
Donald Duck's nephews. Happily, this book has recently been rereleased
(2001) in a new format... (more) 


The Wild Numbers (1998) 
 Philibert Schogt 

Most mathematicians dream of proving a terribly important result. In
this novel, mathematician Isaac Swift
thinks he has done just that: solved "Beauregard's Wild Number
Problem". But is his proof... (more) 


The Woman Who Shook the WorldTree (2012) 
 Michael Swanwick 

A mathematical prodigy (she derived her own version of calculus to compute volumes when she was only seven years old, and by age 18 she had three PhD.s, including one in a field she had invented) teams... (more) 


The World We Make (2022) 
 N. K. Jemisin 

Readers of the first novel in the series, The City We Became, have already met Padmini Prakash. She loves pure math and hates New York City, but due to familial pressures is preparing to be a Wall Street... (more) 


The Writing on the Wall (2005) 
 Steve Stanton 

When he was eight years old, David was visited by an image of his future self, causing him to write mathematical formulas on the wall. (Unfortunately, his parents paint over it before he has a chance... (more) 


You Don't Scare Me (2007) 
 John Farris 

A math grad student at Yale is haunted by the memory and undead spirit of her abusive stepfather. Using her knowledge of the mathematics of "higher dimensions", she locates the coordinates of the "netherworld"... (more) 


Zilkowski's Theorem (2003) 
 Karl Iagnemma 

This is a story of a love triangle with a definite mathematical twist. Henderson's roommate, Czogloz, steals away his girlfriend, Milla, when all three were math graduate students. Years later, seeking... (more) 
