a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

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 cause, making one believe that in a sea of corruption, self-interest and unbridled greed, there remain beacons of selfless goodness.

The movie tracks the journey of a mathematically brilliant Indian student, Anand, who has to overcome barriers raised by poverty, a Hindi-medium education (which puts him at a considerable disadvantage in an English-speaking corporate world), local political opposition and rampant lawlessness to achieve his evolving goals. He obtains admission to the University of Cambridge after sending in the solution to an unsolved mathemaics problem to a journal. However, he has to give up the chance to study in England due to his financial condition and father’s death. In need, he joins a coaching class and starts training students to take the tough entrance exam - the Joint Entrance Exam - to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology, only to rediscover that the gates to a prosperous future swing open more easily for people of means than for the financially destitute classes. Determined to provide the necessary means and study avenues to those who cannot access or afford such teaching aids, Anand starts a class called “Super-30” to train poor but gifted students to rise to their academic potential. Mathematics and Physics are the two toughest peaks these students must climb to enter the elite institutions, and Anand executes the Herculean task of pulling up a large group of students with him.

Do see the trailer and the 2 Wikipedia articles below - they give far more details on the movie and its real-life origins. Thoroughly inspiring!

More information about this work can be found at
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Works Similar to Super 30
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Man Who Knew Infinity by Matt Brown (Screenwriter and Director)
  2. Stand and Deliver by Ramon Menendez
  3. The Square Root of 2 by Hackie Reitman (writer and director) / Bernard Salzmann (director)
  4. Gifted by Marc Webb (director) / Tom Flynn (writer)
  5. Hidden Figures by Allison Schroeder (writer) / Theodore Melfi (director and writer)
  6. Question 3 by Martin Sandahl (Director and Writer)
  7. X+Y (A Brilliant Young Mind) by Morgan Matthews (Director) / James Graham (Writer)
  8. The Calculus of Love by Dan Clifton (Writer and Director)
  9. The Imitation Game by Morten Tyldum (director) / Graham Moore (screenplay)
  10. Der kalte Himmel by Johannes Fabrick (director) / Andrea Stoll (writer)
Ratings for Super 30:
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MotifCool/Heroic Mathematicians, Academia, Real Mathematicians, Math Education,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)