
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) 


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) 


Alex Detail's Revolution (2009) 
 Darren Campo 

A teenage genius uses (among other things) knowledge of the Golden Ratio to defeat an alien invasion. Campo handles the description of the math a bit better than some other authors ([cough]...Dan Brown...[cough]) but in the end it is nothing other than a bit of unbelievable mumbo jumbo in an otherwise mathfree SciFi adventure.
(more) 


All the Light We Cannot See (2014) 
 Anthony Doerr 

Doerr's Pulitzer Prize winning novel follows two children in World War II, a blind French girl hiding with her father and a valuable jewel from the museum where he works and an orphaned German boy. When... (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) 


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 Banana Girls (2017) 
 Karim F. Hirji 

This rare example of African mathematical fiction was written by a Fellow of the Tanzania Academy of Sciences who previously won awards for his work on the statistical analysis of small sample discrete... (more) 


Batorsag and Szerelem [a.k.a. Beautiful Ohio] (2006) 
 Ethan Canin 

A very sensitively written story about a child, William, who grows up in the shadow of his brother, Clive, who is a math prodigy. Clive, in addition to his strong mathematical skills, is also a very... (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) 


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) 


The Boy Who Escaped Paradise (2016) 
 J.M. Lee (author) / ChiYoung Kim (translator) 

After a body is found surrounded by mathematical formulas in Queens, a young Korean man named GilMo is arrested for the murder. Because of his autistic tendencies, he does not respond at all to the usual... (more) 


Brain Wave (1954) 
 Poul Anderson 

This debut novel from SF superstar Anderson explains that the human
intelligence is far more powerful than we have thus far seen. In fact,
once we escape from the effects of a force field that is limiting... (more) 


Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (1955) 
 Jean Lee Latham 

The life of early American mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch, famous for his work on techniques of navigation, is fictionalized in this novel for young adults. Although the mathematical details are not... (more) 


Catching Genius (2007) 
 Kristy Kiernan 

A novel about a pair of sisters, one of whom is a "math genius". The title refers to the fact that she thinks "eyecue" is a disease when she first hears as a child that she has a high one and warns her... (more) 


The Clueless Girl's Guide to Being a Genius (2011) 
 Janice Repka 

An excellent book for 4th — 5th graders but one I would recommend for all teachers and students. Written as an interlaced, firstperson account of two young girls — Aphrodite, who is a math... (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) 


Disciple of the Masses (2008) 
 Xujun Eberlein 

A pathosfilled short story set in rural China toward the end of Mao's Cultural Revolution. It captures beautifully the sense of loss inherent in a centrallydirected and enforced revolution, with the... (more) 


Double Digit (2014) 
 Annabel Monaghan 

This cleverly titled sequel to A Girl Named Digit follows the continuing adventures of a young "math whiz" whose talents make her both a weapon against and a target of terrorists. (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) 


Evil Genius (2005) 
 Catherine Jinks 

I am pleased to report that the titular "evil genius" in this children's novel is not the stereotypical cold mathematician in so many other works of mathematical fiction. In fact, the title character... (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 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) 


The Fringe (Episode: The Equation) (2008) 
 J.R. Orci (Screenplay) / David H. Goodman (Screenplay) 

The ``Fringe Team'' (an FBI agent, a mad scientist and his son) investigate a series of kidnappings in which the victim is hypnotized with red and green lights. In each case, the victim was about to... (more) 


The Ganymede Club (1995) 
 Charles Sheffield 

A group of space explorers attempt to protect the secret that they are no longer aging in this well written SF novel. Although these (essentially) immortal characters are not especially mathematical,... (more) 


Geek Abroad (2008) 
 Piper Banks 

Miranda Bloom, the mathematical prodigy first introduced in Geek High returns in another novel for teenagers, this time emphasizing her participation in mathematical competitions. For instance, we see... (more) 


Geek High (2007) 
 Piper Banks 

Miranda Bloom is a mathematically talented girl trying to deal with normal teenage problems (family, boys, etc.) Although mental calculations have always come easy to Miranda, she does not appear to be... (more) 


The Geometry of Sisters (2009) 
 Luanne Rice 

Young Beck hopes her mathematical skills will somehow bring back her dead father. Other reviewers have mostly complained that this novel does not work as the serious family drama it intends to be. From... (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) 


Gifted: A Novel (2007) 
 Nikita Lalwani 

This novel tells the comingofage story of a girl whose Indian father is a professor of mathematics in Wales. She is talented at mathematics and even uses sophisticated math in her everyday life (e.g.... (more) 


A Girl Named Digit (2012) 
 Annabel Monaghan 

A girl nicknamed "Digit" by her classmates because of her mathematical abilities and interests discovers a terrorist plot and begins working with the FBI to catch a double agent in this adventure aimed... (more) 


The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009) 
 Stieg Larsson 

In this sequel to the stunningly popular The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the selftaught, nearly autistic, young genius, Lisbeth Salander, once again becomes involved in a thrilling mystery allied with... (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) 


Gomez (1954) 
 Cyril M. Kornbluth 

this story is about a physics prodigy, but a mathematical equation
appears in it  the first time I read story the equation didn't make any
sense to me, but eventually I realized that it was a... (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) 


Hajime's Algorithm (2017) 
 Mihara Kazuto 

A bitter old mathematician discovers a young prodigy while visiting the little Japanese island where he grew up in this ten volume manga series that ran from 20172020.
Uchida Yutaka is a mathematician... (more) 


Hannah, Divided (2002) 
 Adele Griffin 

The story of a 13 year old girl living in rural Pennsylvania in 1934,
"Hannah" presents us with yet another fictional account of someone who is
not only talented in mathematics but also psychologically... (more) 


The Infinite Tides (2012) 
 Christian Kiefer 

A somber novel about an astronaut whose daughter dies tragically and wife leaves him while he is in space. Since he and his daughter were both mathematical prodigies, for whom math was not only a beloved... (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) 


The Italian in Need of an Heir (2020) 
 Lynne Graham 

Maya is a beautiful British "maths whizz" who, if she had her way, would be working in an academic job doing research. She also is usually unwilling to put up with men who boss her around. But, her... (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) 


Der kalte Himmel (2011) 
 Johannes Fabrick (director)
/ Andrea Stoll (writer) 

In this German film, a woman raising her children on a farm in 1967 tries to get help for her mathematically talented but antisocial son. Obtaining the services of a forwardthinking Berlin psychiatrist,... (more) 


Lepel (2005) 
 Willem van de Sande Bakhuyzen (director)/Mieke de Jong (screenplay) 

In this charming family film from the Netherlands, a boy who believes his name is "Lepel" runs away from the mean button thief who has watched over him since his parents disappeared.
If you have come... (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) 


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 Long Chalkboard (2006) 
 Jenny Allen / Jules Feiffer (Illustrator) 

Allen's book is a collection of three shortshort stories spread
out over book length with illustrations on every page, in the usual
style of children's literature, complete with charmingly simple... (more) 


Long Division (2003) 
 Michael Redhill 

The title of this short story refers both to arithmetic, a beloved subject of the school age child at its center, and the separation that his mother feels from him and his father due to the child's extraordinary... (more) 


Lost (2011) 
 Tamora Pierce 

A mathematically talented little girl from a mystical medieval realm is abused by her antiintellectual father and unappreciated by a mean math teacher who insists that she show all of her work. However,... (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) 


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) 


Mefisto: A Novel (1986) 
 John Banville 

Although the mathematics is only discussed in this novel in the vaguest terms, it is of the greatest importance to the book. Gabriel Swan, the main character/narrator is so focused on numbers and equations... (more) 


Mercury Rising (1998) 
 Harold Becker (director) 

Bruce Willis is an FBI agent trying to protect an autistic child whose mathematical abilities allow him to break the government's top secret codes.
Now, it is true that some of the most frequently used... (more) 


Middlegame (2019) 
 Seanan McGuire 

When they were young, Roger (who lives in Cambridge MA and loves words) and Dodger (who lives in Palo Alto and loves math) had a psychic link that allowed them to see through each other's eyes, and to... (more) 


The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl (2018) 
 Stacy McAnulty 

A girl who developed "genius level" mathematical abilities after being struck by lightning has a thing or two to learn about life in this novel for young adults.
Lucy Callahan finds that after her... (more) 


Misfit (1939) 
 Robert A. Heinlein 

A crew of misfits ships out to the asteroid belt. One member turns
out to be a misfit among the misfits: he's a mathematical prodigy.
His skills prove to be very valuable.
reprinted in THE PAST... (more) 


Monster's Proof (2009) 
 Richard Lewis 

With parents and a younger brother who are all "mathematical geniuses", Livey Ell (who is in danger of getting kicked out of cheerleading unless she improves her algebra grades) is a bit too normal. Things... (more) 


Nightscape: The Dreams of Devils (2012) 
 David W. Edwards 

A teenage math prodigy is contacted by otherworldly beings through his nightmares. As the separation between dream and reality seems to disappear, he faces a supernatural threat with the help of a religious... (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) 


Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) (2006) 
 Justina Chen Headley 

This is a novel for young adults about a half Asian teenager who is sent to a summer Math Camp at Stanford by her overprotective mother. She enjoys the camp more than she expected to, until her mother... (more) 


Null Set (2019) 
 S.L. Huang 

Cas Russell, the mathgenius mercenary, returns in the sequel to Zero Sum Game. As before, she can perform calculations quickly and accurately enough to determine exactly how she needs to swing, kick,... (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) 


Numberland (1987) 
 George Weinberg 

The coauthor (with John Schumaker) of STATISTICS: AN
INTUITIVE APPROACH, and practicing psychotherapist, tells
a charming little fable about Numberland.
Peace, harmony,... (more) 


Numbers (2009) 
 Dana Dane 

Hip Hop artist Dana Dane wrote this novel about a NYC youth with mathematical talent who gets caught up in a life of crime. There is no actual mathematics discussed. Rather, it appears in a few brief comments only to justify the protagonist's nickname of "Numbers" and presumably to convince us that he had the potential for a bright future under the right circumstances.
(more) 


The One Plus One (2014) 
 Jojo Moyes 

The title presumably primarily refers to the couple in the romance: Jess (a single mom struggling to make ends meet by working as a cleaning woman) and Ed (a welloff client of hers, facing charges for... (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) 


The Outside (2019) 
 Ada Hoffman 

The way this science fiction novel conflates technology and religion is more interesting than anything it does with mathematics. The "gods" in the book are advanced artificial intelligences and "angels"... (more) 


Prince of Mathematics: Carl Friedrich Gauss (2006) 
 Margaret B.W. Tent 

A fictionalized account of the life and achievements of one of history's greatest mathematicians, told in a style which is appropriate for children but also maintains the interest of adult readers.
(I'm... (more) 


Problem Child (1964) 
 Arthur Porges 

By working ceaselessly on proving a new theorem, a successful math professor tries to avoid thinking about the fact that he has lost his wife who died in childbirth and about Paul, their "vegetable" of... (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) 


Quaternia (2015) 
 Tom Petsinis 

Ivan, the main character in Tom Petsinis' Quaternia, is a fictional teenager who spends a lot of his time and energy on playing video games. Ivan goes beyond merely devoting so much time to this hobby... (more) 


The Queen's Gambit (2020) 
 Scott Frank (writer&director) /Allan Scott (writer) /Walter Tevis (writer) 

This popular TV miniseries about the personal trials of a chess prodigy is based on a novel. Interestingly, as I learned from Lauren Tubbs, a tiny bit of math was added for the screen adaptation:
One... (more) 


Question 3 (2016) 
 Martin Sandahl (Director and Writer) 

A short film about a boy with Asperger's Syndrome who competes in the International Mathematical Olympiad. However, neither the mathematical problems nor the boy's success in the competition is the main... (more) 


Ratner's Star (1976) 
 Don DeLillo 

Billy Terwilliger (aka Twillig) is not your typical 14 year old boy.
True, he is beginning to get interested in sex and thinks that the
word "fart" is entertaining, but he is also a number theorist and... (more) 


Recess (Episode: A Genius Among Us) (2000) 
 Brian Hamill 

This episode of Disney's Saturday Morning cartoon "Recess" is clearly a parody of the film "Good Will Hunting". I hope this doesn't lower anyone's opinion of me...but I personally liked it better than... (more) 


Regarding Roderer (1994) 
 Guillermo Martinez 

A short novel about Gustavo Roderer, a brilliant but troubled young man in Argentina. Mathematics is not a central theme, but arises as Roderer's friend (the narrator) talks with him about the philosophical... (more) 


A Rite of Spring (1977) 
 Fritz Leiber 

Leiber has stretched out a very flimsy story line into a 50page triviafest on the number seven. A genius of a mathematician yearns for his childhood ability to visualize and play with mathematics as... (more) 



Simple Genius (2007) 
 David Baldacci 

A small child with an inexplicable ability to factor large numbers threatens the security of the Western world in this political thriller from popular author Baldacci. Although it is nice to see mathematics... (more) 


The Smithsonian Institution (1998) 
 Gore Vidal 

In the year 1939, a 13 year old orphan known only as "T." is recruited into a secret project to build a nuclear weapon
after he is recognized by his algebra teacher as a math genius. From that description,... (more) 


Sophie's Diary (2004) 
 Dora Musielak 

Sophie Germain famously studied mathematics at night by candlelight despite her parents' insistence that she give up this unfeminine discipline. She then went on to become one of the great mathematician's... (more) 


Star, Bright (1952) 
 Mark Clifton 

How would you feel if your daughter could make deep mathematical
discoveries, even when she was a toddler? If you were the parent of
little Star in this story, you'd feel a combination of pride and... (more) 


Tangents (1986) 
 Greg Bear 

There are far too many mathematical stories about finding a way to
travel into "other dimensions". Still, this one is one of my
favorites. Not only do we see a clever approach to this "old"
storyline,... (more) 


Thursday Next: First Among Sequels (2007) 
 Jasper Fforde 

As Vijay Fafat points out, the eponymous heroine of this series of humorous, fantasy mysteries has a daughter who is a math prodigy. Among other things, in this novel she finds a counterexample to Fermat's... (more) 


Time Travel for Love and Profit (2021) 
 Sarah Lariviere 

Nephele Weather hated her freshman year of high school since her nerdy tendencies made her an outcast; even her best friend Vera Knight abandoned her for the cool kids. Since her "only superpower is math",... (more) 


Time, Like an Ever Rolling Stream (1992) 
 Judith Moffett 

The aliens have come to save us from ourselves (which they do by passing environmental laws and sterilizing all humans to prevent overpopulation). One of the aliens, as a pet project, recruits eight young... (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) 


Very in Pieces (2015) 
 Megan Frazer Blakemore 

A comingofage novel for young adults about a mathematically talented girl named Very SaylesWoodruff who has trouble fitting in with her family of painters and poets. In one subplot, a teacher has put... (more) 


White Rabbit, Red Wolf [This Story is a Lie] (2018) 
 Tom Pollock 

Seventeenyearold Peter Blankman is afraid of most things, but he loves his mother (a famous research psychologist), his twin sister (a tough girl who looks out for him), and math. So, he is in trouble... (more) 


Without a Trace (Episode: Claus and Effect) (2007) 
 David Amann (writer) / Alicia Kirk (writer) / Bobby Roth (Director) 

In this Christmas special episode of the TV crime drama, a department store Santa turns out to be a mathematical prodigy who has quit his job as a mathematician/programmer due to ethical concerns that his work will cause others to lose their jobs. He becomes involved in a scheme to make money by applying mathematics to gambling.
(more) 


The Wizard (1989) 
 C.S. Godshalk 

A mathematically talented youth in a bad neighborhood becomes a drug dealer and may not be able to take advantage of his genius by attending the private school which has offered him a scholarship.
In... (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 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) 


WWW: Wake (2009) 
 Robert J. Sawyer 

A blind math prodigy uses her ability to "see" what is going on in the Internet (watch out for the pun: Websight) to discover the emergence of a virtual life form. This is a solid and very readable hard... (more) 


X+Y (A Brilliant Young Mind) (2014) 
 Morgan Matthews (Director) / James Graham (Writer) 

An autistic teenager learns to deal with the death of his father and his first romance as he represents Britain in the International Mathematical Olympiad.
This film is very loosely based on the story... (more) 


Yesternight (2016) 
 Cat Winters 

In this eerie thriller, a school psychologist tries to help parents of a young girl they believe is the reincarnated soul of a mathematical genius who died at the age of 19.
A psychologist fresh out... (more) 


Young Archimedes (1924) 
 Aldous Huxley 

A couple vacationing in Italy meet a peasant boy with strong
mathematical abilities. The most mathematical portion of the text is
a discussion of a proof of the Pythagorean theorem which the boy
develops.... (more) 
