a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Into Thin Air (2000)
Colin Adams
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

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 and math research (e.g., accepting a challenge `because it is there', different teams attempting different `assaults on the same peak', etc.) and combines them in a single short story about collaborators trying to prove the Poincare Conjecture.

The story was republished in the collection Riot at the Calc Exam.... in 2009.

More information about this work can be found at another page on this Website.
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Works Similar to Into Thin Air
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. On Another Plane by Colin Adams
  2. Journey to the Center of Mathematics by Colin Adams
  3. Riot at the Calc Exam and Other Mathematically Bent Stories by Colin Adams
  4. Lost in the Math Museum by Colin Adams
  5. Towel Season by Ron Carlson
  6. Mangum, P.I. by Colin Adams
  7. Rumpled Stiltskin by Colin Adams
  8. Zombies and Calculus by Colin Adams
  9. A Proof of God by Colin Adams
  10. The Romance of Mathematics: Being the Original Researches of a Lady Professor of Girtham College... by Peter Hampson Ditchfield
Ratings for Into Thin Air:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
5/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)

GenreHumorous, Didactic,
MotifAcademia, Proving Theorems, Female Mathematicians,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry, Real Mathematics,
MediumShort Stories,

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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)