a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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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. Since the old boyfriend is played by Brad Pitt, perhaps the friend didn't do so much of a favor as the title suggests! As you can imagine, the idea that the math professor is not as sexy as the old boyfriend is key to the plot. Cute mathematical scenes include the mathematician singing a blues song (accompanied by a harmonica) about his research while sitting at a computer showing fractals, his wife trying to seduce him while he cluelessly talks to her about math and blues, and his mathematically flavored discussions with his friend Joe (another mathematician with an over-inflated ego) about his wife (``A body at rest remains at rest, a body in motion remains in motion remains in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. I think we both agree, Kathy is a body in motion.'')

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Works Similar to The Favor
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Do the Math: A Novel of the Inevitable by Philip Persinger
  2. The Mirror Has Two Faces by Barbra Streisand (director) / Richard LaGravenese (Writer)
  3. What Are the Odds? by Justin Spitzer (writer) / Matthew Tritt (director)
  4. It's My Turn by Claudia Weill (director)
  5. Math Takes a Holiday by Paul Di Filippo
  6. Rucker - A Life Fractal by Eli Halberstam by John Allen Paulos
  7. The Visiting Professor by Robert Littell
  8. Problems for Self-Study by Charles Yu
  9. Goldman's Theorem by R.J. Stern
  10. Mathematical R & D by Paul J. Nahin
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MotifAcademia, Music, Romance,

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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)