Contributed by
Vijay Fafat
If you have a story’s tagline as...
(quoted from Say Wen)
“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 Mathematics on her lap.”

...then one might be forgiven for expecting a ribtickling episode to follow. Then again, if the story appears in a magazine called “College Humor”, such expectations must be naturally tempered...
President Tillen and Adella Dean are 2 aging faculty members of Dallings College who decide that it would somehow be a good idea to hire an 8year old mathematical prodigy, Danis Barst, as the Chair of Higher Mathematics in the College. And who is Danis Barst?
(quoted from Say Wen)
"The infant prodigy, my dear Dean Dean," he said. "The mathematicalgeometrical algebraic infant phenomenon. The eightyearold boy who is one of the twelve human beings who understands the Einstein Theory. The child who, given a problem in differential calculus that would have taken our late poor dear Professor Wurtzburgzinn a week to solve, gives the solution in three seconds," said President Tillen.
[...]
“I have a letter here from Orson Plantagenet Wall," said President Tillen. "He says: 'With all his miraculous mathematical phenomenality, Danis Barst is unspoiled. In mathematics he is a million years old; in all else he is real boy. Foremost among the mathematicians of all ages by some strange gift, he is  when not mathematizing  not highbrow, not a puny weakling all run to brain, but a healthy, hearty American boy.”

Plus “the uncle of Danis Barst is Endrow Fullert, the corn cure billionaire. If I can wangle a million dollar endowment out of him...”...
So of course, this boy becomes the lord of mathematics at the college but ends up creating fracas with his nonmathematical activities of innocence, leading to an unceremonious departure. Ms Adella, the narrator, concludes:
(quoted from Say Wen)
“I am willing to say now that I do not believe that children under ten are desirable as college professors. Eight is too young and, if I could have my way, only the steadier sort of prodigies under twelve would be given professorships.”

The concept had enormous potential and could have followed the footsteps of Willan & Searle’s “Molesworth” or Humphry Ellis’ “A.J. Wentworth”. But the author did not do so and the story did not turn out to be funny for the most part, though some of the dialogues have sparkle. Very little mathfiction.
