
The Absolute Value of Mike (2011) 
 Kathryn Erskine 

Mike is a fourteenyearold with dyscalculia, but his father is a professional mathematician and is quite insistent that he should learn math and go to Newton High, the math magnet school. According to... (more) 


The Adventures of a University Math Professor (2001) 
 Donald A. Buckeye 

This slim book is a very easy, unassuming, pleasant read which adults and sixth graders can both read with joy. It is an autobiographical fictionalization of some parts of a mathematics teacher's life.... (more) 


After Math (2013) 
 Denise Grover Swank 

This is a young adult novel about a college math major, a typical nerd with some apparent neuroses, who learns to be much more "normal" when she is forced to tutor a popular male soccer player.
Thanks to my student, Madeline Goodman, for bringing this book to my attention. (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) 


The Ah of Life (2010) 
 Banks Helfrich (Writer and Director) 

At the beginning of this film we see various stages in the life of Nigel. We see him as a high school student about to fail math due to lack of interest in the subject. We see him as an old man who enjoys... (more) 


The Almond Tree (2012) 
 Michelle Cohen Corasanti 

A poor Palestinian boy growing up in Israel during the 1950s and 1960s endures persecution but eventually becomes a successful scientific researcher because of his mathematical skills.
The author, who... (more) 


Alone with You in the Ether: A Love Story (2022) 
 Olivia Blake 

A bipolar artist and an obsessive mathematician who meet by chance get to know each other (and themselves) better through the course of six conversations. Although the artist already has a boyfriend,... (more) 


Alphabet (2002) 
 Chelsea Spear 

A silent, short film which shows intertwined clips of a young girl playing the french horn and answering a question at the board in her algebra class. Reviews of the film that I've read suggest that she... (more) 


Amy and Isabelle (1998) 
 Elizabeth Strout 

A highly praised motherdaughter novel, selected by Oprah, and
recently produced by Oprah as a madeforTV movie.
Set in 1971 Maine, a 16yearold girl has an affair with her
high school math... (more) 


Annika Riz, Math Whiz (Franklin School Friends) (2014) 
 Claudia Mills 

Recently I have been looking for math books for my young children when I came across Annika Riz, Math Whiz by Claudia Mills. I checked the archives of your site and it appears that this book is not on... (more) 


Another New Math (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

A mathematician and his young daughter try to convince a school board to consider teaching advanced mathematics to elementary school children in this short story that appeared in the collection Reality... (more) 


Arithmetic Town / Arithmetic (1996) 
 Todd McEwen 

This novel puts you into the stream of consciousness of Joe Lake, a boy growing up in California in the 1950s. For him, arithmetic represents all that is wrong with his world. It is difficult, ugly,... (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) 


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) 


Cap and Gown (2011) 
 Eric Flint 

Richard Leamington has an impact on mathematics at Cambridge University in the 17th Century despite his multiple sclerosis. Although Leamington himself is a fictional character, many of the other characters... (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) 


The Center of the Universe (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

This short story was intended to serve two different purposes. On the one hand it is a glimpse into the lives and interactions of mathematics graduate students. And, on the other, it addresses the philosophical... (more) 


A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel (2007) 
 Gaurav Suri / Hartosh Singh Bal 

The intertwined stories of Ravi, a Stanford student taking a course on "Infinity" in the 1980's, and his grandfather who was jailed for blasphemy in New Jersey in 1919 constitute a philosophical investigation... (more) 



Cliff Walk (1987) 
 Margaret Dickson 

This novel which alternates between being a melancholy character study and thriller, tells the story of a woman named Crelly, from her childhood in a family torn apart by abuse and tragedy, to the separation... (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) 


Coffee, Love and Matrix Algebra (2014) 
 Gary Ernest Davis 

This novel follows a year in the life of Jeffrey Albacete, a mathematics professor at a Rhode Island University, who is best known as the author of a textbook on matrix algebra.
Although I think it... (more) 


Contact (1985) 
 Carl Sagan 

This is a fantastic novel; don't skip it just because you saw the
movie. Mathematics plays an important role in the book, much more so
than in the film. In both, Ellie Arroway detects a message from... (more) 


The Countable (2011) 
 Ken Liu 

An autistic boy finds comfort in Cantor's discovery that the set of fractions is greatly outnumbered by the set of irrationals. (See, for example, Cantor's Diagonal Argument.)
I did not much enjoy... (more) 


Crash Course in Romance (2023) 
 Je Won Yu (director) / HeeSeung Yang (writer) 

A grocery store owner and a "celebrity" math teacher fall in love in this South Korean TV series. Each episode’s title is mathematical, and we get to see Choi Chiyeol being treated like a rock star... (more) 


The Cypher Bureau (2018) 
 Eilidh McGinness 

This work of historical fiction tells the story of Marian Rejewski, a Polish mathematician who used algebraic methods to break the Nazi Enigma code before the beginning of World War II. Most of the book... (more) 



The Decimal People (2022) 
 Zachary Shiffman 

This short story is narrated by a math teacher who frequently utilizes mathematical terminology and notation in his musings on the human condition. A key metaphor throughout the story is the idea that... (more) 


A Deprogrammer's Tale (2000) 
 Colin Adams 

This spoof presents the attempts of math professors to convince students to become math majors and the subsequent interest of those students in math as if it were a religious cult. Told from the point... (more) 


The Devotion of Suspect X [Yôgisha X no kenshin] (2005) 
 Keigo Higashino 

Reclusive high school math teacher Tetsuya Ishigami is "devoted" to two things: his math research and his neighbor, Yasuko Hanaoka. When Hanaoka and her daughter kill her abusive exhusband, they are... (more) 


The Distant Dead (2020) 
 Heather Young 

When a boy named Sal discovers the burned body of his middle school math teacher, two amateur sleuths try to determine who killed him. One of them is Jake, the volunteer fireman to whom Sal initially... (more) 


Divide Me By Zero (2019) 
 Lara Vapnyar 

Notes intended to be the outline for a math textbook by the narrator's mother instead give structure to her stories about her mother's death and her own love life.
Like the author, the character Katya... (more) 


The Divine Proportions of Luca Pacioli (2019) 
 W.A.W. Parker 

This novel is a biography of Fra Luca Pacioli in fictionalized form. Pacioli who lived from 1447 to 1517 was an Italian mathematician and Franciscan friar who authored one of the first printed mathematics... (more) 


Do the Math #2: The Writing on the Wall (2008) 
 Wendy Lichtman 

In this sequel to Do the Math: Secrets, Lies and Algebra, a middle school student who likes to think of things in terms of mathematical notation (for example, calling her friend Miranda "m" because she... (more) 


Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra (2007) 
 Wendy Lichtman 

A mathloving eighth grader applies mathematical concepts to problems in her social life.
According to the book jacket, the author has a degree in mathematics and writes pieces for many periodicals.... (more) 


Dr. Casey’s Temporization (1979) 
 Jean McGarry 

I could not quite understand this short story or its purpose. A mathematics professor has assigned some problem to students and during his studentvisit hours (presumably), a female student shows up... (more) 


Drunkard's Walk (1960) 
 Frederik Pohl 

A number theorist is suffering from frequent and
inexplicable suicide attempts, the latest victim of a small epidemic among
academia. In between lectures on Pascal's triangle and the binomial
theorem... (more) 


Dude, can you count? (2010) 
 Christian Constanda 

Utilizing the entertaining contrivance of an extraterrestrial who visits human math conferences to evaluate our intelligence, Constanda tells us what he thinks is wrong with math education today. Following... (more) 


Empire of the Ants (1991) 
 Bernard Werber 

This is a fascinating first novel. Published in France under the title "Les Fourmis" in 1991 and translated into English as "Empire of the Ants" (not to be confused with the H G Wells story
or movie... (more) 


Euclid and His Modern Rivals (1879) 
 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) 

I have long known that mathematician Charles Dodgson, who wrote the famous Alice stories under the pseudonym "Lewis Carroll", also wrote a book defending Euclid's ancient text as the best for teaching... (more) 


Excision (2012) 
 Richard Bates Jr (Director and Screenwriter) 

I watched a horrorandcomingofage film (think an arty version of "Carrie") called "Excision" last weekend, and was delighted to find that it had in it Malcolm McDowell in it, playing a high school... (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) 


Fear of Math (1985) 
 Peter Cameron 

A feathertouch story about a young woman who comes to New York to do an MBA  and has to pass a Calculus course, a prerequisite for an MBA. A brief description of how utterly lost she is after her... (more) 


Feigenbaum Number (1995) 
 Nancy Kress 

A postdoc who perceives reality different than other people (he sees something like the Platonic ideals people ought to be) works with a professor on combining chaos theory with particle physics. I'm... (more) 


Fermat's Best Theorem (1995) 
 Janet Kagan 

A student comes up with what appears to be a proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. So, she gives it to her professor hoping that he will find a mistake in it (see below). It turns out that the professor is... (more) 


Final Exam (2011) 
 Robert Dawson 

A math professor nearing retirement and displeased with trends in academia decides to use his final exam (the last he will ever give) to get his revenge on the cheating students in his calculus class.... (more) 


Forever Changes (2008) 
 Brendan Halpin 

A very somber novel written for young adults about a mathematically talented teenager with cystic fibrosis. Her math teacher helps comfort her by making an analogy between the important role of the infinitesimals in calculus and the importance of even a short life. (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) 


Fractions (2011) 
 Buzz Mauro 

A math teacher realizes that the father of one of his students is a man with whom he has had an anonymous sexual relationship. There is some discussion of math education in general, and about hypothetical... (more) 


Fruits of Perseverance (1841) 
 Anonymous 

This short story does not have a specific plot which threads in mathematical ideas. It is much more a “Math Sermon”, deployed by a caring mother to instill a value system in her young child.... (more) 


G103 (2006) 
 Oliver Tearne (director) 

This short film "shows a surreal day in the life of a mathematics undergraduate" taking the math course G103 at the University of Warwick. In fact, the Website makes it sound as if it is an informational... (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) 


Getting Somewhere (1995) 
 Jenny Pausacker 

In this Australian novel for teenagers, a student who lives in the shadow of her twin is able to find her own identity and some selfrespect with the help of a maths teacher. The teacher challenges her... (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) 


Golden Math [Suugaku Golden] (2019) 
 Kuramaru Tatsuhiko 

Haruichi Onoda is a high school student who aspires to represent Japan in the IMO (International Mathematical Olympiad). He meets a girl (Mami Nanase) who shares his passion. Though seemingly airheaded,... (more) 


Good Benito (1994) 
 Alan P. Lightman 

This novel presents many instances in the life of mathematical physicist
Bennett Lang, the "Benito" of the title. The different scenes, presented
nonchronologically, cover most of his life from early... (more) 


A Good Problem to Have (2014) 
 B.J. Novak 

A fourth grade math class is interrupted by an old man who bursts in claiming that he was the inventor of the train problem:
"That's my problem," said the man.
He stared at us all at once, somehow,... (more) 


Hard Times (1853) 
 Charles Dickens 

A suggestion for a novel to be added to your website Mathematical Fiction:
In Charles Dickens's "Hard Times", poor schoolgirl Sissy Jupe is struggling in an educational system
that is obsessed... (more) 


A Higher Geometry (2006) 
 Sharelle Byars Moranville 

A teenage girl in the 1950's pursues her dream of becoming a mathematician in the American midwest over a background of sexism, romance and Cold War politics. This fictional account mirrors some of the... (more) 



In Our Prime [Isanghan naraeui suhakja] (2022) 
 Lee Yongjae (screenwriter) / Donghoon Park (director) 

A poor student at an expensive South Korean academy receives much needed math tutoring (and a place to stay) from the school's security guard. The student later discovers that the security guard is in... (more) 


Infinitely Near (1999) 
 Anthony Cristiano 

An 8 minute long, black and white film with no dialogue showing intertwined scenes of a student having trouble with the concept of a limit in his calculus class and other scenes from his life. The director... (more) 


The Integral: A Horror Story (2009) 
 Colin Adams 

This story, which he claims is an attempt to emulate Stephen King, is different from many of Adams' others. This may explain why it was published for the first time in his 2009 collections Riot at the... (more) 


An Invisible Sign of My Own (2000) 
 Aimee Bender 

Mona Gray is a second grade math teacher for whom math is not only a
job, but a beloved friend, an obsession and a security blanket. In this first novel we
learn about the events that have shaped her... (more) 


iPhone SE (2022) 
 Weike Wang 

Without being asked to do so, a ChineseAmerican woman's malfunctioning smartphone assistant begins teaching her about math, starting with the importance of the number zero and going up to solving systems... (more) 


Irrational Numbers (2008) 
 Robert Spiller 

Another mystery about high school math teacher Bonnie Pinkwater by the author of Witch of Agnesi. Like the others in this series, this is a murder mystery with adult themes (violence, homosexuality, etc.)... (more) 


Kavanagh (1849) 
 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

In the fourth chapter of this novel by the famous poet, the school teacher of the title tries to convince his skeptical wife that mathematics can be poetic by reading to her from Lilavati.
(This one chapter was published separately as Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, 3 (1855), pages 257—62, and so I will consider it both as a short story and as an excerpt from a novel.) (more) 


Kim Possible (Episode: Mathter and Fervent) (2007) 
 Jim Peronto (script) 

This episode of the Disney animated TV series "Kim Possible" is a comic book parody featuring a mathematical villain.
As an English assignment, Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable have to write a paper... (more) 


Lambada (1990) 
 Joel Silbert (Director and Writer) / Sheldon Renan (Screenplay) 

A blend of "Stand and Deliver" with "Dirty Dancing" with a high school math teacher who spends his evenings doing lambada dance moves in night clubs. He appears to be a very dedicated teacher, and in... (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) 


Let's Play With Numbers [Suuji de Asobo] (2018) 
 Murako Kinuta 

The story follows Tateki Yokobe, a freshman in the math department of Yoshida University. Though formerly a top student, Yokobe quickly realises his eidetic memory is of no use in understanding highly... (more) 


Little People (2002) 
 Tom Holt 

Tom Holt is generally considered one of the masters of
comic fantasy. His humour is apparently too British,
though, since he hasn't had an American publisher for
quite some time. The Britishonly... (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) 


Long Division (2010) 
 Buzz Mauro 

A very short story in which a hypochondriacal boy confuses the long division which he is learning in school with the cell division in the cancer that killed his grandmother. The boy's mother responds... (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) 


Lost and Found (2024) 
 Joe Stout 

A man who becomes lost while hiking is captured by an evil math teacher who enjoys torturing her victims with lessons and quizzes. The plot, which also involves a beautiful woman who was kidnapped by... (more) 


A Map for the Missing (2022) 
 Belinda Huijuan Tang 

Tang Yitian, a ChineseAmerican math professor who grew up in China shortly after the revolution, undertakes a journey to find his estranged father.
Antiintellectualism always made it hard for Yitian... (more) 


Math Girls (2007) 
 Hiroshi Yuki 

Three high school friends work through some difficult mathematical ideas in this book, recently translated into English from the Japanese original.
The author is apparently well known in Japan for his... (more) 


Math is Murder (2012) 
 Robert C. Brigham / James B. Reed 

This is a murder mystery cowritten by an emeritus math professor and a retired crime scene investigator. The victim was an egotistical and (almost unbelievably) unpleasant mathematics department chair... (more) 


The Math Olympian (2015) 
 Richard Hoshino 

A novel about a girl hoping to be on the Canadian team to the International Mathematical Olypmiad written by someone who should know what it is like. (FYI The author earned a silver medal as part of the... (more) 


Mathemagics (1990) 
 Patricia Duffy Novak 

Kyria despises math and hates the fact that she is required to learn vector calculus at Salem University where she is studying magic. So, she determines to go back in time to learn how the ancient wizards... (more) 


The Mathematics of Being Human (2015) 
 Michelle Osherow / Manil Suri 

A math professor and a literature professor attempt to collaborate on an interdisciplinary course in this semiautobiographical one act play.
To begin with, I should admit that nearly everything I know... (more) 


Mean Girls (2004) 
 Tina Fey (screenplay) /Mark S. Waters (director) 

In this movie about teenage girls  written by Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock) and inspired by the nonfiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes  a previously home schooled student (played by Lindsay... (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) 


Mimsy Were the Borogoves (1943) 
 Lewis Padgett (aka Henry Kuttner and Catherine L. Moore) 

Far in the future, humans have not only improved their digestive tracts
(eliminating the appendix and shortening their large intestine) and invented a time machine, but they have also invented educational
toys... (more) 


The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) 
 Barbra Streisand (director) / Richard LaGravenese (Writer) 

Love story with Jeff Bridges and Barbra Streisand as math and English
professors (respectively) at Columbia University in which they try (unsuccessfully) to achieve a marriage of deep companionship but... (more) 


Miss Havilland (2020) 
 Gay Daly 

Evelyn Havilland, who left her studies in mathematics at Stanford University in 1917 to aid with the war effort, must decide between marrying a linguistics professor she met when they were both working... (more) 


Monster (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

A story about group theory, plagiarism, the untapped potential of a collaboration between mathematics and marketing, the bleak financial future of academia, and the Monster.
This story talks about... (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) 


The Murdered Mathematician (1949) 
 Harry Stephen Keeler 

This book is probably the least believable thing I've ever read, but lots of fun!
Quiribus Brown is a 7 1/2 foot tall man who was raised by his father on a farm in Indiana. His father was a math professor... (more) 


Music of the Spheres (2011) 
 Ken Liu 

The short stories in the anthology Mirror Shards all focus on augmented reality (AR), the idea that our perception of the world around us will be fundamentally changed by the use of advanced technology.... (more) 


Nearly Gone (2015) 
 Elle Cosimano 

Nearly Boswell has (obviously) a really cool name. She also has a strong interest in her science and math classes. And, for some reason, she also has the ability to taste emotions when she touches other... (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) 


Number 9: The Search for the Sigma Code (1998) 
 Cecil Balmond 

A young boy learns about mathematics while trying to solve a mathematical puzzle.
"As a teacher and Education Inspector in England I would rate
this book very highly. It is extremely well written... (more) 


The Number Devil [Der Zahlenteufel] (1997) 
 Hans Magnus Enzensberger 

"The title may be translated as The
Counting Devil, or maybe The Number Devil, and it has a subtitle that
translates to 'a pillowbook for everyone
who is afraid of math'. Enzensberger is a respected... (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) 


An Old Arithmetician (1885) 
 Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman 

The title character of this short story, which appeared in the September 1885 issue of Harper's Weekly, is an old, uneducated woman who loves computing (with chalk and slate):
You have always been very... (more) 


Old Fillikin (1982) 
 Joan Aiken 

A farm boy who hates his math class seemingly calls upon his grandmother's "familiar" to get revenge on his teacher.
This reads like an old fashioned ghost story, but it is the kind where you can imagine... (more) 


The Old Mathematician (1848) 
 Dinah Maria Muloch 

A very touching story full of pathos, quite reflective of the Victorian era ethos in the midnineteenth century. The writing is highgrade, though math content itself is nonexistent, since the story... (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) 


Orpheus Lost: A Novel (2007) 
 Janette Turner Hospital 

This book is simultaneously a beautiful love story with frequent allusions to the myth of Orpheus, a political thriller, and a gut wrenching tear jerker about people whose lives are destroyed by war. ... (more) 


The Papers of A.J. Wentworth, B.A. (1949) 
 Humphry Francis Ellis 

This is a humorous book about A J Wentworth, school master at a British school, who teaches Algebra to 1113 year old children. The entire novel has a touch of Wodehouse to it as it follows the bumbling... (more) 


PostBombum [aka PostBoomboom] (1967) 
 Alberto Vanasco 

Argentinian author and math professor Alberto Vanasco wrote this short story about postapocalyptic survivors trying to record keys to civilization, and failing miserably. (Thanks to Vijay Fafat for bringing... (more) 


The PrePersons (1974) 
 Philip K. Dick 

His nastiest story, a deeply felt response to Roe vs Wade. Dick imagines a future where Congress has decided that abortion
is legal until the soul enters the body, which is specified as
... (more) 


Probabilities (1995) 
 Michael Stein 

Sixteen year old Will Sterling is the protagonist of this "coming of age story" that throws just a little math in with the usual teenangst and sexual exploration.
The author is very good at letting you... (more) 


Project Flatty (1956) 
 Irving Cox Jr. 

A very, very nice tale of a doublefake, of phantasmical scenes and nightmares which lead one Rex Bannard to question what is real, what is contrived imagination, and whether we are creatures shackled... (more) 


The Quantum Weirdness of the AlmostKiss (2021) 
 Amy Noelle Parks 

In this young adult romance, Evie Beckham is an extremely anxious teenager who loves math and attends a STEM magnet school. She is starting to get interested in dating, but is unaware that her longtime... (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) 


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) 


Refund (1938) 
 Fritz Karinthy (original) / Percival Wilde (English Adaptation) 

A former student demands that his tuition be refunded because he feels his education was worthless, but loses his bid when he is tricked by the mathematics master.
This entry refers to the 1938 adaptation... (more) 



Rithmatic (2015) 
 B.J. Novak 

A school principal secretly proposes to his students that they all just agree not to bother with math in school:
“Now do I wish you all knew math? Were great at math? Were fing mathematicians?... (more) 


The Rolling Stones (1952) 
 Robert A. Heinlein 

The Stone family goes off on a working tour across the solar system.
As a condition for going, the father insists the twins keep up with
their higher mathematics studies, which gets referred to explicitly
several times. The difference between arithmetic and geometric growth
is commented on when their pet "flat cat" reproduces 8 at a time, and
faster than expected.
(more) 



Saraswati's Way (1978) 
 Monika Schroder 

This is a novel written for very young adults (age 10 or so). Chronicles a mathematically gifted young boy's search for resources and a tutor from whom he can learn more mathematics than his local teachers... (more) 


Satisfactory Proof (2005) 
 Cynthia Morrison Phoel 

A Master's degree student pouts and complains about the people around him as he earns his Master's degree in mathematics at a Bulgarian university.
Although the titular phrase "satisfactory proof" appears... (more) 


School Scandalle (2004) 
 Marla Weiss 

In 80 short chapters (each of which has the word "First" in its title), this book relates the sordid details in the professional life of a computer science and math teacher at a private school in Florida.... (more) 


The Secret Integration (1964) 
 Thomas Pynchon 

The title is a pun relating the operation from calculus (the definite
integral of a function) to the controversial attempt to solve many of the
problems of race relations in America (the integration... (more) 


The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods (1998) 
 Ann Cameron 

(A preteen novel, obscurely set in the 50s, only skimmed by
me. I was attracted by the Moebius strip on the cover of the
Scholastic edition. It was a National Book Award finalist, I
presume... (more) 


The Shiloh Project (1993) 
 David R. Beaucage 

This is a Christian science fiction novel with mathematical undertones written by an author with a doctorate in mathematics. In it, a Jewish math teacher falsely accused of sexually abusing a student... (more) 


Sidewise in Time (1934) 
 Murray Leinster 

"The protagonist is a frustrated mathematician, whose genius
(which Leinster makes some attempt to convey) is not recognized
by his teachers and peers. So when reality goes... (more) 


The Simplest Equation (2014) 
 Nicky Drayden 

Mariah is a Stanford University math major who has lost her interest in the subject of mathematics. She is initially annoyed when Kwalla takes the seat next to hers in class. Kwalla is an alien with... (more) 


The Simpsons: Girls Just Want to Have Sums (2006) 
 Matt Selman 

In this episode from the 17th season of the hit cartoon The Simpsons, the principal of Bart and Lisa's school makes a sexist comment (clearly a reference to the controversial comments from Harvard President... (more) 


The Sinister Researches of C.P. Ransom (1951) 
 Homer C. Nearing Jr. 

"[D]escribed on the cover as a science fiction novel, which is two
mistakes in three words...it is [mathematical fiction], and it is a
collection of short stories that originally appeared in The Magazine
of... (more) 


Solve for X (2024) 
 Wil Forbis 

This is a supernatural murder mystery in which the victim is a math tutor. An incorrect method for solving linear equations with a parameter are part of the clue which leads to the capture of the murderer,... (more) 


The Song of the Geometry Instructor (1985) 
 Ralph M. Berry 

While snowed in at his home, a geometer writes to his former lover about his students, his discoveries and how much he misses her.
This is one of those literary art pieces by an author for whom mathematics... (more) 


Sophie Simon Solves them All (2010) 
 Lisa Graff 

A 100page novel for 2nd graders about a math genius, Sophie Simon, whose parents are always worried that their daughter is not “welladjusted”. Sophie, on the other hand, wants to do math... (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) 


Sorority House (1956) 
 Jordan Park (Cyril M. Kornbluth and Frederik Pohl) 

Sorority House is a lesbian pulp novel written in 1956 by Cyril M. Kornbluth (19231958) and Frederik Pohl (1919 ) under the pen name "Jordan Park". The main character is a mentally unstable young... (more) 


Special Meal (2021) 
 Josh Malerman 

This story about a young girl enjoying her favorite meal with her family takes place in a dystopian society where knowledge of math is illegal. In fact, her brother recently reported a friend of his to... (more) 


The Square Root of 2 (2015) 
 Hackie Reitman (writer and director) / Bernard Salzmann (director) 

A movie about the difficulties faced by an autistic young woman with overprotective parents who attends college to pursue a career in mathematics. Author/director Reitman is an M.D. with an interest in... (more) 


The Square Root of Murder (2002) 
 Paul Zindel 

A murder mystery written for a middle school aged audience in which a calculus professor is found pinned to a chalk board by a bolt fired from a crossbow. A formula on the board turns out to be an essential clue (though it involves only elementary arithmetic).
This novel for young readers should not be confused with the adult mystery novel with the same title by Ada Madison.
(more) 


The Square Root of Murder (2011) 
 Ada Madison 

Math professor Sophie Knowles turns amateur detective when an unpopular colleague is found dead in his office in this entertaining but light mystery novel.
From reading comments at Amazon, I have learned... (more) 


Stand and Deliver (1987) 
 Ramon Menendez 

Edward James Olmos plays Jaime Escalante, "a reallife math teacher in East L.A.. This is
really unique. The hero's heroism consists in teaching mathematics! Obviously, I've gotta love this one. So... (more) 


The Star (1897) 
 Herbert George Wells 

Although some of the science is a bit off  for example, the idea that the
rotation of planets has something to do with their ability to orbit the sun
or that the "star" formed by the collision of Neptune... (more) 


Strange Attractors (1993) 
 Rebecca Goldstein 

"Strange attractors: Collection of short stories, some of which have
mathematical content. Two stories (the geometry of soap bubbles and
impossible love and strange attractors) figure the same
main... (more) 


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

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... (more) 


Teen Patti (2010) 
 Leena Yadav (Director) 

This Bollywood film features Ben Kingsley as a math professor whose theory of probability allows him (and a team of student helpers) to win huge sums of money gambling. The plot sounds suspiciously similar... (more) 


The Theory of Death (2015) 
 Faye Kellerman 

The apparent suicides of a math student and math professor at Kneed Loft College are investigated by a detective, his wife, and a former detective now studying law. It was sufficiently engrossing and... (more) 


Those Who Can, Do (1965) 
 Bob Kurosaka 

In this shortshort classic, a mathematics professor ends the first day
of a Differential Equations class asking for questions. One student is
irksome, even peculiar, in his wish to know what practical... (more) 


The Three Body Problem (2004) 
 Catherine Shaw 

A cleverly titled novel that uses a historical mathematical contest
and several characters based on real mathematicians as the basis for a
murder mystery. Of special interest is the novel's presentation... (more) 


Three Days and a Child (1970) 
 Abraham B. Yehoshua 

Dov, an Israeli mathematics graduate student, watches the young child of a woman he knew at a kibbutz. He alternates between loving the child as he still loves the woman and intentionally endangering... (more) 


Three Plates on the Table [Tres platos en la mesa] (1961) 
 José María Gironella 

An emotional, sensitively written example of a short story of magic realism, in the classic tradition of Borges and Cortazar. Most of the story revolves around the main character’s frame of existence,... (more) 


Through the Black Board (1943) 
 Joel Rogers 

The tagline of the story says:
“Unexpectedly Tossed into the Fourth Dimension, Little Mathematics Professor Noel Gouf Has an Amazing Chance to Solve All of His Persona! Problems While Time Stands... (more) 


The Trachtenberg Speed System (2014) 
 Buzz Mauro 

Realizing that he is likely to die there, Jakow Trachtenberg fantasizes that the method of mental computation that he has created while at a Nazi concentration camp will live on beyond him. A young guard... (more) 


Train Brains / The Runaway Train (Donald Duck) (1956) 
 Carl Barks 

Donald Duck's nephews  Huey, Dewey and Louie  are trying to earn a merit badge in engineering for the Junior Woodchucks by working out a complicated problem involving toy trains.
"We'll never be... (more) 


Trains Passing (2024) 
 Martin Ziegler 

A thoroughly unpleasant math teacher is riding a highspeed train traveling at precisely 400 mph in one direction on a perfectly straight track while another train travels in the opposite direction at... (more) 


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943) 
 Betty Smith 

You may be surprised to see Betty Smith's novel about a girl growing up poor in the early 20th century on this list. In fact, it is a stretch to call this "mathematical fiction". However, the little... (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) 


Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture (1992) 
 Apostolos Doxiadis 

This novel, recently (2000) translated from Greek, follows the attempts of
fictional mathematician Petros Papachristos to prove Goldbach's
Conjecture (that every even number greater than two is the sum... (more) 


The Unwilling Professor (1954) 
 Arthur Porges 

Two college students who are failing their math class kidnap an alien they encounter and force it to do homework for everyone in their fraternity.
There are some cute mathematical passages. For example,... (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) 


Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen (2007) 
 Kathryn Walat (playwright) 

Victoria Martin is a popular girl at Longwood High  dating one of the stars of the school basketball team and friends with the "Jens" on the cheerleading squad. So, most of the guys on the math team... (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) 


Yi ge dou bu neng shao (1999) 
 Yimou Zhang (director) / Xiangsheng Shi (screenplay) 

A 13 yearoldgirl is given the job of being the teacher for a remote Chinese village for one month and promised extra pay if she does not lose a single student. When one student's mother becomes ill,... (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) 


Young Beaker (1973) 
 J.T. Lamberty, Jr. 

A singular individual who knows how to do mental arithmetic triumphs over peers in a future where everyone has become dependent on calculators and computers. That description would apply equally to this... (more) 


The Young Mathematician (1832) 
 Anonymous 

A very lightweight story about a sixteenyear old girl, Laura (daughter of one Mr. Sinclair), who did not like mathematics. As she and her mother spoke one day:
‘Oh, mother,’ she exclaimed,... (more) 


The Young Philosopher  A Sketch For Parents (1852) 
 Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.. 

Another short story which highlights the prejudices the society had toward the measure of “intelligence” and the inability to recognize the large range of human abilities at a young age, where the... (more) 


Zenn Diagram (2018) 
 Wendy Brant 

In many ways, this is a typical teen romance novel: it is filled with girls talking about their crushes, some flirting, some kissing, starcrossed lovers overcoming an obstacle to be together, and just... (more) 
