
The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri (2008) 
 David Bajo 

Philip is a mathematician who works in the financial industry, a quant. We also meet his exwife, Rebecca, who is a math professor. But, the main character in this novel is a woman who we only meet in... (more) 


36 Arguments for the Existence of God (2010) 
 Rebecca Goldstein 

This new novel by Rebecca Goldstein, whose Strange Attractors is one of my favorite works of mathematical fiction, features as two main characters a woman known as "the goddess of game theory" and a Hasidic... (more) 


4.50 from Paddington (1957) 
 Agatha Christie 

A suggestion for your site: In the Agatha Christie novel 4.50 from Paddington an important role is played by Lucy Eyelesbarrow, a woman in her thirties who has a First in Maths from Oxford. She declined... (more) 


Abendland (Occident) (2007) 
 Michael Köhlmeier 

The protagonist is an Austrian
mathematician who, according to the fictional invention of the author,
worked with Emmy Noether in Göttingen during the 'Golden Age' of
German Mathematics, i.e. before Hitler came to power. In chapter 6 we
learn a lot about Noether's life in Göttingen, Moscow, and the US.
(more) 


Ada and the Engine (2015) 
 Lauren Gunderson 

For Lauren Gunderson, whose plays all seem to be about emotionally potent mathematical subjects, a study of Ada Lovelace seems like a natural choice. Born Ada Byron (the daughter of the scandalous poet... (more) 


Ada's Room (2023) 
 Sharon Dodo Otoo 

This novel follows a woman's soul through four reincarnations, beginning in Africa in the 15th century and ending in Europe during World War II. All four are named "Ada", and one of them happens to be... (more) 


Advanced Calculus of Murder (1988) 
 Erik Rosenthal 

In the second book in the Dan Brodsky series (following Calculus of Murder by the same author), Brodsky is invited to COTCA (the Conference on Operator Theory and C*Algebras at Oxford University). While... (more) 


The Adventures of Topology Man (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

Parody is easy....topology is hard!
In this short story, I made use of (and made fun of) the classic superhero comic book genre to illustrate some ideas from topology. So, we end up seeing a battle... (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) 


After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall (2012) 
 Nancy Kress 

The last 26 humans alive resort to kidnapping children from the past in order to save themselves from the oppressive aliens who keep them in "The Shell". Mathematics enters in the form of Julie Kahn,... (more) 


Agora (2009) 
 Alejandro Amenábar (writer and director) / Mateo Gil (writer) 

A film based on the life of Hypatia of Alexandria. What little we know of the real Hypatia suggests that she was a talented mathematician and teacher (neither of them easy professions for a woman to enter... (more) 


The Alice Network (2017) 
 Kate Quinn 

Set in the aftermath of World War II, The Alice Network follows a Bennington College sophomore Charlotte “Charlie” St. Clair on an impromptu search for her cherished cousin Rose. While fleeing... (more) 


All Scot and Bothered (2020) 
 Kerrigan Byrne 

This is another romance novel set in the 19th century featuring a female mathematician. It features such lines as:
She had very few innate talents, but the rhythm and structure of sexual relations... (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) 


The Amber Shadows (2016) 
 Lucy Ribchester 

This is another thriller set at Bletchley Park during World War II. Many of the characters are described as mathematicians and Alan Turing is mentioned occasionally, but math is definitely not the center... (more) 



Antonia's Line (1995) 
 Marleen Gorris 

About three or more generations of
strong and selfsufficient women who live on a farm and the people
around them. Antonia's granddaughter is a genius, namely a
mathematician and a musician. But she... (more) 


Arcadia (1993) 
 Tom Stoppard 

Stoppard's critically successful play includes long discussions of topics of
mathematical interest including: Fermat's Last Theorem and Newtonian
determinism, iterated algorithms, the second law of thermodynamics,
Fourier's... (more) 


Arcadia (2016) 
 Iain Pears 

As this clever novel is intentionally a hodgepodge of genres, it is a bit difficult to describe. It involves a British spy brought back from retirement in the 1960s to find a mole, a mathematician in... (more) 


Atomic Anna (2022) 
 Rachel Barenbaum 

I loved this plot from the moment I heard about it: A teenage math genius learns through comic books left for her by her mother that her grandmother who invented time travel needs her help solving some... (more) 


The Axiom of Choice (2011) 
 David W. Goldman 

A ``chooseyourownadventure'' story about a guitarist who must face the consequences of his decision to take a plane ride that ended in disaster. A brief but very nice discussion of The Axiom of Choice... (more) 


Axiom of Dreams (2023) 
 Arula Ratnakar 

An aspiring mathematician gets a brain implant designed to aid her research on Gödel Incompleteness in the hopes that it will help her get accepted into a PhD program. But, against the advice of... (more) 


Babbage (2008) 
 Claire Barker (writerdirector) / Eamon Wyse (writer) 

A 2010 movie sponsored by the British Council and directed by Claire Barker. It is a short, 15minute vignette, a dramatization of a fictional dinner conversation between Charles Babbage, his religious... (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) 


The Bangalore Detectives Club (2022) 
 Harini Narendra 

On the first page of this mystery set in 1920's India, a scrap of paper identifies the person a desperate character seeks:
MRS KAVERI MURTHY, Mathematician and Lady Detective.
The rest of the novel... (more) 


The Bed and the Bachelor (2011) 
 Tracy Anne Warren 

Although it involves cryptography and the Napoleonic wars, this novel is really more of a romance than it is historical fiction or espionage.
Sebastianne Dumont is the daughter of a French mathematician... (more) 



Bellwether (1996) 
 Connie Willis 

A statistician studying the causes of fads and a chaos theorist studying the behavior of animals write a joint grant proposal for a project involving sheep. That may not sound like a winning book summary,... (more) 



Beyond the Limit: The Dream of Sofya Kovalevskaya (2002) 
 Joan Spicci 

This book is a novelized account of the life of
Sofia Kovalevskaya (aka Sonia Kovalevskey and infinitely1 many alternative
spellings), famous today as the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in
mathematics.... (more) 


Binti (2015) 
 Nnedi Okorafor 

Binti has left her village, left the planet Earth, and is on her way to study math at the galaxy's most prestigious university. When the ship is attacked by the fearsome alien race called the Meduse,... (more) 


Book of Knut: a novel by Knut Knudson (2012) 
 Halvor Aakhus 

Halvor Aakhus, who has an undergraduate degree in math and an MFA in writing, wrote this unusual work of fiction that takes the form of a novel by an apparently dead author named Knut Knudson which has... (more) 


Border Guards (1999) 
 Greg Egan 

In a virtual universe shaped like a 3torus, free from disease and death, Jamil is easily depressed but enjoys playing a game of quantum soccer with his old friends, and one new friend. The new friend... (more) 


Break Your Heart (2015) 
 Rhonda Helms 

The cultural diversity in this romance novel about the affair between an AfricanAmerican math major and her Japanese cryptography professor is a pleasant surprise, but that is just about the only positive thing I can think to say. It does not seem to have anything interesting to say about either mathematics or academia. They are just the backdrop for a forbidden erotic encounter. (more) 


A Calculated Demise (2007) 
 Robert Spiller 

A high school math teacher, Bonnie Pinkwater, solves the mystery surrounding the murder of a PE teacher, a student, and the family of the boy suspected in the killing.
This sequel to The Witch of Agnesi... (more) 


Calculated Risks (2021) 
 Seanan McGuire 

In this sequel, Sarah must use her mathematical skills to rescue her cousins and a big chunk of Iowa State University from the dimension to which she banished them in Imaginary Numbers.
The Price family,... (more) 


The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel (2018) 
 Mary Robinette Kowal 

This novel, which is the first in a series of prequels by the author for her Hugo Awardwinning story "The Lady Astronaut of Mars", is a sort of alternate history version of Hidden Figures.
In the world... (more) 


The Calculus of Love (2011) 
 Dan Clifton (Writer and Director) 

A professor who is obsessed with proving Goldbach's Conjecture challenges a class of graduate students to make any progress on it. But, is he truly motivated by a love of pure mathematics and its search... (more) 


The Capacity for Infinite Happiness (2015) 
 Alexis von Konigslow 

A math grad student trying to start her thesis on graph theory discovers some of her family's secrets when visiting their resort in Canada.
Graph theory involves the study of vertices (points or dots)... (more) 


The Captured CrossSection (1929) 
 Miles J. Breuer (M.D.) 

Another "extra dimensions" story, with the twist of our hero having to save his fiance (also a mathematician) from terrifying dangers. There is some nonsense at the beginning about rotations and a count... (more) 


Le Cas de Sophie K. (2005) 
 JeanFrangois Peyret (playwright and director) 

This play about Sofya Kovalevskaya emphasizes her nihilistic leanings (as expressed in Kovalevskaya's own fiction). The production featured unusual modern staging, such as having three actresses portraying... (more) 


Case of Lies (2005) 
 Perri O'Shaughnessy 

An old, unsolved casino murder becomes mathematical when three of the witnesses turn out to have been math students using their skills to win at gambling. Quite a bit of detailed discussion of number... (more) 


Casebook (2014) 
 Mona Simpson 

A novel written from the point of view of Miles AdlerHart, a boy who is spying on his mother. He learns of his parents' divorce, his mother's sex life, and her lover's dark secret. Like the superheroes... (more) 


The Central Tendency (2003) 
 Daniel Kaysen 

In the first portion of this short story, a teenager and the aunt who took her in when her parents died enjoy doing math together. However, when the girl begins to get advanced training from Cambridge... (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) 


Christmas at Cardwell Ranch (2013) 
 B.J. Daniels 

In keeping with my expectations of a Harlequin Romance novel, Christmas at Cardwell Ranch does have an improbable love affair, between a modernday cowboy and a female mathematician. However, this one... (more) 


The Cinderella Theorem (2014) 
 Kristee Ravan 

A very serious, mathematically inclined teenage girl is shocked to learn that her father is not dead as she had previously believed but rather is the ruler of an enchanted kingdom.
The nononsense,... (more) 


The Cipher (2015) 
 John C. Ford 

As he turns 18, the son of the billionaire who owns the patent on publickey encryption finds himself in several complicated situations. There is a love triangle involving both his longtime girlfriend... (more) 


The Circumference of the World (2023) 
 Lavie Tidhar 

This genrebending metafictional novel concerns a mysterious book called "Lode Stars" by a pulp science fiction author who founded a religion. The main tenets of that religion are that the universe is... (more) 


The City of Devi (2013) 
 Manil Suri 

Manil Suri, the author of this erotic, dystopian, Indian adventure, is a professional mathematician. And so, it is not surprising that there is some mathematics in it. However, there really is not much... (more) 


City of Infinite Bridges (2007) 
 Alex Rose 

A very short, definitely fictional but delightful little tale about Katharina Gsell, Euler's wife. In this fictional account, Katharina is supposed to have displayed a graph of the 7 Konigsberg bridges... (more) 


The Clockwork Rocket [Orthogonal Book One] (2011) 
 Greg Egan 

Egan's "Orthogonal Trilogy" explains how the Peerless and its crew of scientists, mathematicians and engineers was launched in the hope if find a way to save their homeworld from destruction. A major... (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) 


The Code for Love and Heartbreak (2020) 
 Jillian Cantor 

In this young adult adaptation of Jane Austen's "Emma", a high school student unsuccessfully attempts to use her knowledge of mathematics to create a matchmaking app for her classmates. It is yet another... (more) 


Conceiving Ada (1997) 
 Lynn HershmanLeeson


Bizarre, lowbudget film in which a female computer programmer from the 20th century accesses the memories of Ada Lovelace, the 19th century mathematician and daughter of the poet Lord Byron. The film... (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) 


Continuums (2008) 
 Robert Carr 

The decisions we make and the difficulty in accepting the consequences is the main focus of this book about a Romanian mathematician who leaves her country and her daughter to be in a place that she could... (more) 


The Countess Conspiracy (2013) 
 Courtney Milan 

This is a romance novel set in Victorian England in which the heroine is a biologist studying inheritance and the hero is her friend who publishes and presents her work in his name. The story begins... (more) 


The Crimson Cipher (2010) 
 Susan Page Davis 

A code breaker seeks to solve the mystery of the murder of her father, a math professor who had been working on an encryption device at the beginning of World War I in this "Christian adventure/romance". (more) 


Critical Point (2020) 
 S.L. Huang 

This is the third novel featuring Cas Russell, a private detective with superhuman mathematical abilities that allow her to fight with remarkable precision, and to quickly survey a crime scene.
There... (more) 


Damned Souls and Statistics (2011) 
 Robert Dawson 

A statistician sells her soul to the devil in exchange for guaranteed tenure, but redeems herself by creating a cleverly useless confidence interval.
I like the part about the realization during her... (more) 


Dark as Day (2002) 
 Charles Sheffield 

Alex Ligon, though unbelievably rich, chooses to work voluntarily at a government
agency where his predictive models for the future of the human race (based,
he claims, on the principles of statistical... (more) 


The Dark Lord (2005) 
 Patricia Simpson 

This fantasy/horror/romance novel features as its protagonist a young, female math professor at UCBerkeley who gets caught up in a battle with a demon when she finds an unusual deck of tarot cards in... (more) 


Dark of the Moon (1995) 
 John Dickson Carr 

The crime novel "Dark of the Moon" by John Dickson Carr has as one of its characters a female "mathematician", Camilla Bruce. (She is called a mathematician and is enthusiastic about the subject but... (more) 


The Difference Engine (1991) 
 William Gibson / Bruce Sterling 

Two of the innovators of the cyberpunk novel  famous for showing how messed up the future will be because of technology  turn everything around and show us instead how great the past would have been... (more) 


Digital Fortress (1996) 
 Dan Brown 

In a final act of defiance, a young Japanese genius threatens to make
public his "unbreakable code" if the NSA does not confess that it has been
reading even encrypted emails. The heroine of the story... (more) 


A Disappearing Number (2007) 
 Simon McBurney 

Scenes of Srinivasa Ramanujan's collaboration with G.H. Hardy around the time of World War I are mixed in with modern storylines including an Indian physicist who has applied Ramanujan's work to String... (more) 


Disciple of the Masses (2008) 
 Xujun Eberlein 

A pathosfilled short story set in rural China toward the end of Mao's Cultural Revolution. It captures beautifully the sense of loss inherent in a centrallydirected and enforced revolution, with the... (more) 


The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine (2017) 
 Greg Egan 

This story is funnier and less mathematical than most of Greg Egan's writing. It concerns the spontaneous evolution of artificial intelligence within the global computer network. But, rather than destroying... (more) 


Distances (2008) 
 Vandana Singh 

Most members of Anasunya's species have "a gift". Since she has a gift of mathematics, she leaves her aquatic home and begins working at the
Temple of Mathematical Arts. She has a gift that allows... (more) 


Distress (1995) 
 Greg Egan 

My friends and I are all in agreement on this one: this book starts
out great (at a mathematical physics conference where people are
talking about the latest theories of quantum gravity) but then it
degenerates... (more) 


Division by Zero (1991) 
 Ted Chiang 

Answers the question: what would happen if we found out that
mathematics is inconsistent? This is a great piece of
mathematical fiction. (Thanks to Frank Chess who pointed it out to
me.)
Renee... (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) 


Domaine [Domain] (2009) 
 Patric Chiha (screenplay and director) 

This subtle, slow and depressing French film concerns the relationship between a homosexual teenager and his alcoholic aunt. She is a math professor whose research is connected to Gödel's Theorem, and... (more) 


The Doors of Eden (2020) 
 Adrian Tchaikovsky 

A handful of inhabitants of Earths with different evolutionary histories find themselves either working together to save their worlds as the multiverse collapses. The characters include a cryptidhunting... (more) 


Double Digit (2014) 
 Annabel Monaghan 

This cleverly titled sequel to A Girl Named Digit follows the continuing adventures of a young "math whiz" whose talents make her both a weapon against and a target of terrorists. (more) 


Dr. No: A Novel (2022) 
 Percival Everett 

Wala Kitu is a professor of mathematics at Brown University who specializes in nothing. (It is not that he doesn't have a specialty. He is an expert in the very concept of nothingness.) His best friends... (more) 


Duke with Benefits (Studies in Scandal) (2017) 
 Manda Collins 

A romance novel with a strong female lead, Lady Daphne Forsyth, who is a mathematician with some stereotypical antisocial traits. She has been set the task of solving an old mystery by breaking a cipher. However, since this is a romance novel, she is unsurprisingly distracted by a certain hunky guy, the "duke" of the title, whose family owns the library containing the cipher.
(more) 


Eifelheim (2006) 
 Michael Flynn 

In this award winning science fiction novel, Tom and Sharon have a lot in common. They share an apartment, both use sophisticated mathematics in their research, and both become completely obsessed with... (more) 


Electric (2004) 
 Chad Taylor 

Three of the characters in this novel are mathematicians. Sam is a former statistician who now works at a successful Auckland data retrieval company. Because he is attracted to the hydrodynamic equations... (more) 


Elementary (Episode: Solve for X) (2013) 
 Jerry Levine (director)/Jeffrey Paul King (screenplay) 

In this episode from the second season of Elementary featuring a modern version of Sherlock Holmes with a female Watson, the duo discover equations in invisible ink on the walls in a murdered mathematician's... (more) 


The Embalmer's Book of Recipes (2009) 
 Ann Lingard 

An unusual and intimate novel that follows three women: a widowed sheepfarmer, a mathematician who studies quasicrystals, and a taxidermist (whose included blog entries explain the title of the book).... (more) 


Emilie (2010) 
 Kaija Saariaho (composer)/Amin Maalouf (libretto) 

In this opera, a single performer portrays the final days in the life of Émilie du Châtelet, whose promising career as a mathematical physicist in the 18th century was tragically cut short at the age of 42. Émilie du Châtelet's story is also told in two recent plays: see Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight and Legacy of Light . (more) 



Emmy Noether: The Mother of Modern Algebra (2008) 
 Margaret B.W. Tent 

A semifictional biography of Emmy Noether written for young adults.
The book has received positive reviews from many mathematicians who hope (as, one supposes, does the author) that young readers will... (more) 


Emmy's Time (2018) 
 Anthony Bonato 

The main storyline is quite reminiscent of the pulp era, with its awshucks use of "recently discovered temporal fields" and "earth is about to be destroyed unless one brilliant mathematician can solve... (more) 


Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace (2017) 
 Jennifer Chiaverini 

This voluminous (448 page) work of historical fiction is told in first person from the perspective of Ada Byron King (Lady Lovelace) herself. Nevertheless, as the author can count on the reader to have... (more) 


Equations of Life (2011) 
 Simon Morden 

To escape from his life in organized crime, the protagonist creates a fake identity as a physics student named Samuil Petrovich. Though he has made an incredible discovery in theoretical physics, Petrovich... (more) 


Evariste and Heloise (2008) 
 Marco Abate 

This contribution to the collection The Shape of Content is difficult to classify. Combining fiction and fact, essay and comic book, fantasy and philosophy, it essentially takes the form of a proposal... (more) 


Eve Times Four (1960) 
 Poul Anderson 

An old "pulp" SF story about an accident which strands some space travelers on a deserted but habitable planet. One of them is a female mathematician:
Teresina was of the tall and willowy persuasion,... (more) 


Evil Genius (2005) 
 Catherine Jinks 

I am pleased to report that the titular "evil genius" in this children's novel is not the stereotypical cold mathematician in so many other works of mathematical fiction. In fact, the title character... (more) 


Eye of the Beholder (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

Shortly after a stunning success in her research, personal tragedy forces a math professor to change careers and begin work at the NSA where her work on cryptography involves some difficult ethical decisions.... (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) 


Fermat's Room (La Habitacion de Fermat) (2007) 
 Luis Piedrahita / Rodrigo Sopeña 

In this Spanish thriller, four mathematicians are invited to a booby trapped room where they must solve mathematical puzzles to prevent the walls from closing in and crushing them. This leaves them little... (more) 


The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem (2000) 
 Rinne Groff 

I think this play about a number theory conference at the British seaside at the turn of the 20th century may be misunderstood. The plot revolves around the neuroses of the senior researcher, Moses Vazsonyi,... (more) 


Flea Circus: A Brief Bestiary of Grief (2012) 
 Mandy Keifetz 

A mathematically inclined woman deals with her grief over the suicide of her lover, an entomologist who runs a flea circus, in this award winning novel.
Although the cover summary describes her as a... (more) 


Flow Down Like Silver: Hypatia of Alexandria (2009) 
 Ki Longfellow 

Another novel about the historical figure Hypatia of Alexandria whose murder by Christian zealots as the Ancient Greek culture faded away makes her a good subject for authors with certain political and... (more) 


Flowers Stained with Moonlight (2005) 
 Catherine Shaw 

In this sequel to The ThreeBody Problem, Vanessa Duncan is called upon to save an innocent young woman, falsely suspected of murdering her older and unlikable husband. Although there is no mathematics... (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) 


Foundation (1951) 
 Isaac Asimov 

In this book and its prequels/sequels, we see humanity guided by the
work of fictional "mathematician, Hari Seldon, who works out the rules
of psychohistory and makes a secret chart that the humankind... (more) 


The Four Colors of Summer (2011) 
 Tefcros Michaelides 

Multigenerational love stories are interwoven with the history of the Four Color Theorem, including the controversies surrounding its computerassisted proof.
This novel was published in Greek and... (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) 


The Fourth Quadrant (2011) 
 Dorothy Lumley 

The story has some elements of mathematics built in. A ransom note coded into a ciphered message broken up on paper in 4 quadrants, Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, references to the Difference Engine.... (more) 


The Fractal Murders (2001) 
 Mark Cohen 

In this award winning (Top Ten Mysteries on the Book Sense 76 Fall List for 2002) mystery novel "HardBoiled" Detective Pepper Keane is hired by a tall and attractive math professor (with whom he of course... (more) 


Gambler's Rose (2000) 
 G.W. Hawkes 

A picaresque novel about the Halloran family who live by grifting. Charging lunch to their room in a hotel where they aren't staying and winning a fabulous yacht in a game of poker are the high points,... (more) 


A Game of Consequences (1998) 
 David Langford 

Two reckless researchers at "The Mathematics Institute" undertake dangerous "quantum" research based on mathematical mumbojumbo like "translating her mathematical intuitions into appropriate quasishapes and pseudoangles for Ranjit's algorithmic probes".
First published in Starlight 2 (1998) edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden.
(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) 


The Ghost from the Grand Banks (1990) 
 Arthur C. Clarke 

The topics change
from the Titanic to a giant octopus but a central one is the
Mandelbrot set. We are introduced to mathematiciancumcomputer
wizard Edith Craig who invents software to fix the Y2K... (more) 


The Giant Claw (1957) 
 Fred F. Sears (director) 

Known as possibly one of the worst horror movies of the 20th century, The Giant Claw tells the story of a huge bird from an antimatter universe who terrorizes airplane pilots (but apparently, not movie... (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) 


The Girl in the Painting (2020) 
 Tea Cooper 

Jane Piper and Elizabeth Quinn are both interested in mathematics in this historical fiction novel which bounces back and forth between the midnineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Quinn arrives... (more) 


A Girl Named Digit (2012) 
 Annabel Monaghan 

A girl nicknamed "Digit" by her classmates because of her mathematical abilities and interests discovers a terrorist plot and begins working with the FBI to catch a double agent in this adventure aimed... (more) 


The Girl Who Loved Mathematics (1988) 
 Elizabeth Smithers 

A sad tale of a college girl, Gilberte (not her true name), who has a penchant for mathematics, having inherited from her father “who was was some high official who presumably dealt with estimates... (more) 


The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009) 
 Stieg Larsson 

In this sequel to the stunningly popular The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the selftaught, nearly autistic, young genius, Lisbeth Salander, once again becomes involved in a thrilling mystery allied with... (more) 


The Girl with the Celestial Limb (1990) 
 Pauline Melville 

Although recognized as mathematically talented in school, Jane Cole hid from all things intellectual after having a frightening epiphany regarding infinity. Math, however, seemingly exacts its revenge... (more) 


The Givenchy Code (2005) 
 Julie Kenner 

You've got to love the tag lines for this book: "A heelbreaking adventure in codebreaking that will bring out the math geek and the fashionista in you". "Cryptography is the new black".
A woman with... (more) 


The God Patent (2009) 
 Ransom Stephens 

After his life falls apart, an engineer tries to revive a collaboration with the fundamentalist Christian with whom he once wrote two patents based on the Bible. While he viewed these patents for what... (more) 


Going Out (2002) 
 Scarlett Thomas 

A group of unusual friends go on a journey to Wales to meet with a healer who they hope can help each of them with their problems. The group consists of Luke (who is unable to go outside due to allergies... (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 Will (1989) 
 Jane Smiley 

A poor couple living on a rural farm deal with the intrusions of the "outside world", including an affluent and worldly AfricanAmerican math professor and her young daughter.
I don't think there... (more) 


Hamisch in Avalon (1995) 
 Eliot Fintushel 

This story marks the return of the Yiddishe mystic Izzy and his daughter
inlaw (now a math professor) Hamisch previously encountered in Izzy at the Lucky Three. There isn't as much math in
this story,... (more) 


The Helpline (2019) 
 Katherine Collette 

In this work of fiction, an antisocial character who believes that all of life's questions can be answered by mathematics discovers that there's more to life than numbers. In this particular version... (more) 


Hidden Figures (2016) 
 Allison Schroeder (writer) / Theodore Melfi (director and writer) 

Hidden Figures is a "Hollywoodized" version of the true story of three women who worked in the "colored computers" unit at NASA's Langley Research Center. In particular, it follows Katherine (Goble)... (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) 


A Hill on the Dark Side of the Moon (1983) 
 Lennart Hjulström 

A Swedish film about the life of Sonia Kovalevsky. The title refers,
apparently, to a site on the moon which was actually named in her
honor. The film tends to avoid the mathematics (for example, melodramatic... (more) 


A House for Living (2020) 
 Nicolette Polek 

A very short story (not quite two pages) about an insecure mathematician:
The mathematician moves into a glass condominium with fourteen doors and has nightmares about the rooms behind them switching... (more) 


The Hurricane (2016) 
 R.J. Prescott 

A British novel in which a shy math student, damaged by her past, begins an unlikely romance with a powerful boxer. "Hurricane" O'Connell is handsome, muscular, and dangerous, but also happens to be madly... (more) 


Hypatia or The Divine Algebra (2000) 
 Mac Wellman 

Artistically produced offBroadway play about the famous female
mathematician who was tortured to death by Christian monks in the 5th
Century. In Wellman's unusual telling, however, Hypatia ends up... (more) 


Hypatia's Math: A Play (2016) 
 Daniel S. Helman 

This play about the life of the ancient Greek mathematician Hypatia features music, dance, and the ghost of Hypatia herself. It was first performed in 2016 at the Flagstaff Arts & Leadership Academy in... (more) 


Hypatia: New Foes with an Old Face (1852) 
 Charles Kingsley 

A fictionalized account of the life and murder of the ancient Greek mathematician Hypatia. This
book, written in 1852 by Reverend Kingsley, focuses more on the
religious implications (especially the... (more) 



In the River (2006) 
 Justin Stanchfield 

A female mathematics professor undergoes a surgical procedure to enable her to live and communicate with aquatic aliens. Her goal is to learn to understand their mathematics well enough to reproduce their... (more) 


In the Shadow of Gotham (2009) 
 Stefanie Pintoff 

The first victim in this murder mystery is a female math grad student at Columbia University in the year 1905. I'm sure many of the fans of this Edgar Award winning firstnovel would mention the historical... (more) 


Incendies (2010) 
 Denis Villeneuve / Valérie BeaugrandChampagne / Wajdi Mouawad 

After their mother is struck speechless at a pool, resulting in her hospitalization and then her death, twins Jeanne and Simon are given two sealed envelopes and told to deliver them to the father they... (more) 


Infinite Sum (2016) 
 Sheila Deeth 

Although trained as a mathematician and happily married, Sylvia has psychological issues that are interfering with her life. The main focus of this novel is on her interactions with her therapist in which... (more) 


The Infinite Tides (2012) 
 Christian Kiefer 

A somber novel about an astronaut whose daughter dies tragically and wife leaves him while he is in space. Since he and his daughter were both mathematical prodigies, for whom math was not only a beloved... (more) 


The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells (Episode: The Truth about Pyecraft) (2001) 
 Chris Harrald (Script) / Clive Exton (Script) / Herbert George Wells (story) 

Please correct me if I'm mistaken here, but it seems that the 2001 TV miniseries The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells took the story ``The Truth about Pyecraft'', which has no math in it, and made the main... (more) 



Instantiation (2019) 
 Greg Egan 

In this sequel to 3adica, the conscious video game characters plan an escape that feels like a cross between Mission Impossible and Inception, but with the addition of famous mathematicians sitting around... (more) 


The Intangible (2022) 
 C.J. Washington 

Amanda is a data scientist who continues to show signs of pregnancy even after her miscarriage. Marissa is a math professor overwhelmed with guilt after a fatal accident. Their husbands are both nonmathematicians... (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) 


Into Thin Air (2000) 
 Colin Adams 

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... (more) 


The Invention of Ana [Forestillinger om Ana Ivan] (2016) 
 Mikkel Rosengaard 

A Danish writer visiting New York becomes obsessed with the life story of Ana Ivan, a Romanian artist that he meets. She tells him about two lovers, about her parents' lives under the autocratic rule... (more) 


Invisible (2014) 
 James Patterson / David Ellis 

The (somewhat unlikeable) protagonist of this thriller is an FBI agent who loved numbers as a little girl and still prefers statistical analysis of data to time spent with other people. Combining this antisocial behavior with an obsessive desire to find a pattern among a huge number of unsolved murders leads her to begin her own investigation. (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) 


The Ishango Bone (2012) 
 Paul Hastings Wilson 

Amiele becomes the first female student at Trinity College and goes on to disprove the Riemann Hypothesis at the age of 26, but is denied the Fields Medal. Written as if it were her life story recorded... (more) 


The Italian in Need of an Heir (2020) 
 Lynne Graham 

Maya is a beautiful British "maths whizz" who, if she had her way, would be working in an academic job doing research. She also is usually unwilling to put up with men who boss her around. But, her... (more) 


It's My Turn (1980) 
 Claudia Weill (director) 

About a mathematician who writes a proof of the Snake Lemma at the
speed of
light. Her love interest was Michael Douglas, some sort of athlete.
One mathematician I know claims he wrote a paper just... (more) 


The Kingdom of Ohio (2009) 
 Matthew Flaming 

CheriAnne Toledo, the daughter of the King of Ohio, uses her mathematical skills (and the assistance of Nikola Tesla) to build a device that is supposed to be able transport people instantaneously from... (more) 


The Kiss Quotient (2018) 
 Helen Hoang 

Stella is an woman with autistic tendencies who falls in love with the gigolo she hires to help her overcome her problems with intimacy. This romance novel, we are told, was inspired by the true life... (more) 


Ladies' Night (2017) 
 Robert Dawson 

A card sharp known as "Lady Jane" attempts to swindle a statistician visiting Las Vegas for a conference. The plot twists and turns as it mentions things like the Monty Hall Problem, Game Theory, and... (more) 


Lady Claire is All That (2016) 
 Maya Rodale 

Claire Cavendish is a rare item in 19th century England, a woman whose primary interests lie within mathematics. Rather than making her an object of desire, however, her insistence on talking about maths... (more) 


The Lady's Code (2006) 
 Samantha Saxon 

The third in a series of romance novels about intelligent, confident women, The Lady's Code features Lady Juliet Pervell, who has ruined her reputation in social circles but earned an honorary degree in... (more) 


The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics (2019) 
 Olivia Waite 

Lucy Muchelny is responsible for the mathematical aspects of her father's famous publications in astronomy, but as this is the 19th century she receives no credit for that contribution. Desperate for... (more) 



Leaning Towards Infinity (1996) 
 Sue Woolfe 

Tells the story of an Australian woman who wins a contest for the best
mathematical theory from an amateur mathematician. The prize is a trip to
a math conference in Athens. The theory proposed by... (more) 


Legacy of Light (2009) 
 Karen Zacarías 

Two tales of discovery and pregnancy are told in this play. An astrophysicist at the Newton Institute whose team has discovered evidence of a planet in formation feels that she is too old to be pregnant... (more) 


Lemma 1 (1978) 
 Helga Königsdorf 

This short story by an East German author concerns a mathematics graduate student who realizes right before her thesis defense that Lemma 1 (the initial small step on which the rest of her results depend)... (more) 


Letters to a Young Mathematician (2006) 
 Ian Stewart 

I listed this one here before I had a chance to read it and am now wondering whether it should be counted as fiction at all. This is an excellent book which provides a lot of useful information about... (more) 


Lewis (Episode: Reputation) (2006) 
 Russell Lewis (Story) / Stephen Churchett (Screenplay) 

In this pilot episode of the spinoff from the popular Inspector Lewis television series, a female math student is murdered while she participates in a sleep study. Perfect numbers show up in the form... (more) 


The Limit (2019) 
 Freya Smith / Jack Williams 

This poprock musical about the life of mathematician Sophie Germain was performed in March 2019 at the VAULT festival in London.
The playwrights were supposedly looking for a historical female character... (more) 


Limited Wish (2019) 
 Mark Lawrence 

In this sequel to One Word Kill, math prodigy Nick Hayes develops the theory of time travel that his future self used to go back in time to meet himself in the first book. The idea, which sounds neat... (more) 


Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land (2005) 
 John Crowley 

This book is made up of notes and email messages from a feminist historian interspersed with chapters from a previously unknown novel by Lord Byron which she has discovered while researching his daughter,... (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 in the Math Museum (2022) 
 Colin Adams 

Teenager Kallie, who doesn't particularly care for math, gets trapped in a math museum with her father and his friend Maria. They endure horrific dangers and meet the ghosts of famous mathematicians (as... (more) 


Love Counts (2005) 
 Michael Hastings (libretto) / Michael Nyman (score) 

This opera tells the tale of the surprising friendship between a boxer whose career and life are in decline and a mathematics professor who uses arithmetic as a tool to help him out. It premiered in March 2005 at Germany's Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe.
Thanks to Peter Freyd for pointing it out to me. (more) 


Lucy and David and the God Equation (2011) 
 Alan McKenzie 

Lucy, a freshman at a Scottish University, and David, the graduate student who leads the problem sessions for her physics class, discuss the mathematical and philosophical implications of Gödel's First... (more) 


Luminous (1995) 
 Greg Egan 

A truly wonderful story in which two math grad students discover that the things we consider to be "truths" in number theory are actually part of a dynamical system, subject to change over time and in... (more) 


Løvekvinnen [Lion Woman] (2006) 
 Erik Fosnes Hansen 

This Norwegian novel follows the life of a young girl who has a hairy face due to hypertrichosis.
According to Tom Louis Lindstrøm (who kindly brought this work of mathematical fiction to my attention)... (more) 


The Madness of Crowds (2021) 
 Louise Penny 

In Penny's 17th murder mystery featuring detective Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of Sûreté du Québec, a statistician with a controversial political philosophy speaks at the local university, resulting... (more) 


Magpie Lane (2020) 
 Lucy Atkins 

This wonderful novel is difficult to describe, somewhere between literary fiction and a procedural mystery with the atmosphere of a supernatural thriller. The book is narrated by Dee, a nanny who is being... (more) 


Manifold Thoughts (2024) 
 Patrick Freivald 

A talented female mathematics grad student (who is a postdoc by the end of the story) helps her thesis advisor model the dynamics of CalabiYau manifolds, discovering that they are both sentient and deadly.
The... (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) 


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 (1996) 
 Margaret Ball 

This novel continues the adventures of characters developed in the
"chicks in chainmail" series of anthologies. As the title implies,
in these fantasy stories about a suburban mom who
lives the life... (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) 


Mathematical Revelations (2021) 
 Helen De Cruz 

Like others in her culture, Priestess Kayla works on mathematical proofs and hopes to receive a message from her creator, the Supreme Mathematician :
I have never had a Mathematical Revelation in my... (more) 


The Mathematician's Shiva (2014) 
 Stuart Rojstaczer 

When Rachela Karnokovich dies, her family's attempt to conduct the Jewish mourning ritual of sitting shiva is disturbed by the many strangers who descend on her Madison, WI home. Although she never won... (more) 


The Mathematicians of Grizzly Drive (1988) 
 Josef Skvorecky 

A detective story, in the "hard boiled" genre, featuring Eve Adam, a sexy nightclub performer who solves crimes in her free time. In this story, she visits a house where mathematicians gather to entertain... (more) 


The Mathematics of Nina Gluckstein (1985) 
 Esther Vilar 

When Argentina's most famous singer dies in an accident during a concert, his unpopular wife, Nina Gluckstein, commits suicide. Yet, since public opinion of her was so low (and perhaps because she was... (more) 


MathNet (1987) 
 Childrens Television Workshop 

A children's TV show in which mysteries are solved using
mathematics. The suspects and victims always ask the investigators
"Are you the police?" To which they reply "No, we're
mathematicians!"... (more) 


Matrices (2016) 
 Steven Nightingale 

One of 64 fantastical short stories in the collection "The Hot Climate of Promises and Grace", this one concerns a mathematician who fills matrices with real objects instead of numbers. The results are... (more) 


A Matter of Mathematics (2005) 
 Tony Ballantyne 

A story about the attempt by the British to change the tilt of Earth's axis to create a more suitable environment for themselves and how the Americans foil it. The British have been launching incessant... (more) 


The Measure of Eternity (2006) 
 Sean McMullen 

The beautiful servant of an even more beautiful courtesan leaves the palace in an ancient city and finds a beggar proudly shouting "I have nothing" in many different languages. Yet, this beggar seems... (more) 


Middlegame (2019) 
 Seanan McGuire 

When they were young, Roger (who lives in Cambridge MA and loves words) and Dodger (who lives in Palo Alto and loves math) had a psychic link that allowed them to see through each other's eyes, and to... (more) 


Miscalculations (2000) 
 Elizabeth Mansfield 

This romance novel features female "math whiz",
hired to help an attractive millionaire handle his wealth. Of course, they fall in love.
If you have read this book and can correct/add to the description above,
please write to me at kasmana@cofc.edu.
(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) 


Mr. Churchill's Secretary (2012) 
 Susan Elia MacNeal 

After graduating with a degree in mathematics from Wellesley, Maggie Hope plans to go on to graduate studies at MIT, but her plans change unexpectedly when a letter from England gets her instead looking... (more) 


Mrs. Einstein (1998) 
 Anna McGrail 

It's a wonderful novel that invents a history for Einstein's illegitimate daughter, about whom little is known. In the novel, she's a mathematician who becomes obsessed with her father's refusal to acknowledge... (more) 


Mrs. Warren's Profession (1894) 
 George Bernard Shaw 

This is Shaw's notorious play about poverty and prostitution, the
"profession" of the title. (The play itself was not performed in
public in the UK until 1925.)
Mrs. Warren has made her fortune... (more) 


Murder at Queen's Landing (2021) 
 Andrea Penrose 

This is the fourth in a series of books in which romance sparks between Wrexford (a chemist) and Sloan (an artist) while they solve mysteries in Regencyera England. In this one, the mystery involves... (more) 


Murder by Mathematics (1948) 
 Hector Hawton 

The chair of the mathematics department at a British university and a shady bookseller are the victims in this "whodunnit"
published by Ward Lock & Co. (London and Melbourne) in 1948.
It was thanks... (more) 


Murder, She Conjectured (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

A police psychologist attending a conference in Cambridge, England is pulled into an unsolved murder mystery by her mathematician boyfriend. An important theme of the story is the oppresive sexism that... (more) 


The Mystic Cipher (2009) 
 Dennis Mangrum 

When an exArmy Ranger finds a mysterious coded document on his farm purporting to be the key to the location of a hidden treasure, he enlists the aid of his daughter, a math student. There is stereotypical... (more) 


The Nesting Dolls (2020) 
 Alina Adams 

A novel in threeparts focusing on three women in the same family over the course of a century. It is the middle story, concerning Natasha Crystal, that is most strongly connected to mathematics. Natasha... (more) 


Night and Day (1919) 
 Virginia Woolf 

The protagonist, Katherine Hilbery,
is a young woman who (like the author) grows up in a "literary"
family; her "job" is to help her mother both in writing a biography of
her grandfather, a famous... (more) 


Night of the Eerie Equations (2015) 
 Robert Black 

Another sequel to Night of the Paranormal Patterns about teenager Lennie Miller who solves middleschool mathematical problems for vampires, wizards, and other monsters. This time, she not only has to... (more) 


Night of the Frightening Fractions (2015) 
 Robert Black 

In this sequel to Night of the Paranormal Patterns, teenager Lennie Miller continues to solve mathematical problems to save her town from ghosts and zombies.
I haven't read this young adult novel. I hope to get a chance to do so someday and will post more information here if I do. Or, if you have read it, please write to let me know what you thought of it, and I'll post your review here!
(more) 


Night of the Paranormal Patterns (2014) 
 Robert Black 

A young adult novel that uses the fantasy adventure genre to introduce prealgebra concepts. The protagonist, a seventh grader named Lennie, has been chosen as the "pattern finder" for werewolves, vampires... (more) 


Ninefox Gambit (2016) 
 Yoon Ha Lee 

In a desperate attempt to retake the Fortress of Needles from the heretics who have taken it over, the mathematically talented Kel captain named Cheris is promoted to the rank of general and mentally... (more) 


No One You Know (2008) 
 Michelle Richmond 

Having felt overshadowed by her mathematician older sister when she was alive, the main character becomes obsessed with her murder after the sister is killed. Using her sister's notebook describing her... (more) 


No Regrets (2007) 
 Shannon Butcher 

This is an espionage thriller in which a cryptographer reluctantly helps the military break a mathematical code. It gets high ratings from those who enjoy this sort of cloakanddagger stuff. Moreover,... (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) 


NUMB3RS (2005) 
 Nick Falacci / Cheryl Heuton 

This TV crime drama (premiered January 2005) follows the adventures of a pair of brothers, one a mathematics professor and the other an FBI agent, as they combine forces to solve mysteries.
Cool effects... (more) 


The Number of Love (The Codebreakers) (2019) 
 Roseanna M. White 

This novel may fall into an unlikely combination of categories (it is a wartime religious historical romance spy story that is also mathematical), but its main character is a familiar stereotype: Margot... (more) 


The Object (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

This is a mathematical horror story, written by someone who doesn't like horror stories. Since I'm the author, I can honestly (and humbly) admit that the result is kind of weird.
The plot concerns... (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) 


On Another Plane (2020) 
 Colin Adams 

A woman with flowing white hair and flowing white robes sits next to a mathematician on a plane and very casually helps him to prove the Riemann Hypothesis.
‘‘I'm not much for knowing what's... (more) 


Once Upon a Wardrobe (2021) 
 Patti Callahan 

Megs is a student at Oxford University in 1950 whose eight year old brother is so ill that he is unlikely to live another year. While Megs loves equations, her brother George loves the new book "The Lion,... (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 Outside (2019) 
 Ada Hoffman 

The way this science fiction novel conflates technology and religion is more interesting than anything it does with mathematics. The "gods" in the book are advanced artificial intelligences and "angels"... (more) 


The Oxford Murders (2004) 
 Guillermo Martinez 

A young, Argentinian mathematician visiting the UK is drawn into a murder mystery when his landlord (a woman who had worked as a code breaker during World War II) is killed. A clue and the words "The... (more) 


Pascal's Wager (2001) 
 Nancy Rue 

A math graduate student working in Ktheory meets a young philosophy professor who challenges her atheistic beliefs with Blaise Pascal's famous "wager". Mathematics takes a back seat to theology in this... (more) 


A Perfect Equation (The Secret Scientists of London) (2022) 
 Elizabeth Everett 

Miss Letitia Fenley wishes to compete for the prestigious Rosewood Prize for Mathematics. Unfortunately, she is distracted from her research by her role in a secret society of female scientists in Victorian... (more) 


Permafrost (2019) 
 Alastair Reynolds 

The daughter of the mathematician whose research led to a practical method for timetravel is sent back in time to save the world in this creative science fiction novella.
Although I describe the work... (more) 



Pop Quiz (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

An algebraic geometer is called in when messages from an alien spacecraft appear to be asking questions about projective varieties. Though it may at first appear to be another "mathematics as a common... (more) 


PopCo (2004) 
 Scarlett Thomas 

Alice was raised by her grandparents, a mathematician and a cryptographer, and now uses what she learned from them to make mathematical puzzles for children. Her employer, the giant toy company "PopCo",... (more) 


Prime Suspects: The Anatomy of Integers and Permutations (2019) 
 Andrew Granville / Jennifer Granville / Robert J. Lewis (Illustrator) 

In this graphic novel, the surprising coincidences between complete factorizations of integers, permutations, and polynomials is presented as if it were the discovery of a forensic team investigating seemingly... (more) 


Princess Elizabeth's Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery (2012) 
 Susan Elia MacNeal 

Maggie Hope is assigned to stay with the royal family. As we know from her first appearance in Mr. Churchill's Secretary, Maggie has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Wellesley and was about... (more) 


Principles of Emotion (2024) 
 Sara Read 

Meg Brightwood grew up as a mathematical prodigy with an overbearing mathematician father and an absent mother. She later quit her academic job due to a combination of her crippling anxiety and the sexism... (more) 


Probabilitea (2019) 
 John Chu 

When it said at the beginning of this story that "Katie’s father...is a physical manifestation of Order and Chaos," I presumed at first it meant that metaphorically. In fact, it means that Katie's... (more) 


The Professor's Experiments  The Dimension of Time (1910) 
 Paul Bold 

There were 6 madcap scifi stories written by the author about one Prof. Mudgewood in the collection, “The Professor’s Experiments”. The sixth and last one appeared in the Idler Magazine in 1910.... (more) 


Proof (2000) 
 David Auburn 

This Pulitzer Prize winning play (now also a film) focuses on a daughter who took care of her father after his mental disorder forced him to give up his successful career as a mathematician. After the... (more) 


The Queen's Gambit (2020) 
 Scott Frank (writer&director) /Allan Scott (writer) /Walter Tevis (writer) 

This popular TV miniseries about the personal trials of a chess prodigy is based on a novel. Interestingly, as I learned from Lauren Tubbs, a tiny bit of math was added for the screen adaptation:
One... (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) 


Rapunzel's Etymology of Zero (2016) 
 Katie May (Writer) / Seth Podowitz (Director) 

[This] is a cute concept film which uses the fairy tale setting of Princess Rapunzel to articulate some simple but attractive mathematical concepts. In particular, it has a funny take on a desperate... (more) 


Reality Conditions (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

The title story in the collection of the same name, this short story follows a mathematics grad student to a workshop at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute. Although the story contains no supernatural... (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) 


Resistance is Futile (2015) 
 Jenny T. Colgan 

This novel begins as a familiar farce in which mathematicians are gathered by the government to decipher a message from space. However, in this case, the story soon turns into a romance between a human... (more) 


Risqueman (2009) 
 Mike Wood 

A brilliant (and beautiful) French mathematician is distressed by governmental misuse of her algorithm which accurately predicts accidents and disasters that previously were only determined probabilistically.... (more) 


River of Gods (2006) 
 Ian McDonald 

A science fiction novel about artificial intelligence, politics, cellular automata, climate change and alternate universes that takes place in India of 2047. Math plays only a very small role in this... (more) 


The Robot's Math Lessons (2019) 
 Yoon Ha Lee 

In this very short story, intentionally incorrect mathematical formulas result in an unusual friendship between a servitor and a human child.
The story was posted as free "flash fiction" on the author's website and was published by Simon and Schuster in 2019 in an anthology of stories that take place in the same universe as Ninefox Gambit.
(more) 


The Rock (1996) 
 Robert Doherty 

"Five peopleincluding an Australian Air Force computer operator, a Mexican engineering professor, a New York housewife, a Colombian Special Forces officer, and an English mathematicianare invited to... (more) 



Rough Strife (1980) 
 Lynne Sharon Schwartz 

This is the story of the courtship, marriage and affairs of Ivan (who works on the business side of the art world) and Caroline (a math professor).
Although there are plenty of clues to the knowledgeable... (more) 


Royal Highness (Königliche Hoheit) (1909) 
 Thomas Mann 

At the heart of Thomas Mann's novel, “Royal Highness,” is the courtship and eventual marriage of Klaus Heinrich, the heir to a fictional German principality, and Imma Spoelmann, the daughter... (more) 


Rumpled Stiltskin (2004) 
 Colin Adams 

Do you remember the old Fractured Fairy Tales segment on Rocky and Bullwinkle in which classic stories were updated with a twist? This is just like those. The old Grimm's Brother tale is retold, but... (more) 



A Season of Flirtation (2023) 
 Julia Justiss 

Lady Laura Pomeroy's interest in mathematics makes her an unsuitable romantic interest in the 19th century:
Few gentlemen, himself included, could view as a prime matrimonial candidate a female who... (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) 


Serial Killer Sudoku (2009) 
 Shelley Freydont 

In this sequel to The Sudoku Murder, the former government mathematician who has taken over the puzzle museum in her old hometown catches a serial killer who leaves a sudoku at each crime scene. There... (more) 


The Shadow Guests (1980) 
 Joan Aiken 

After his mother's death, a boy goes to live with his aunt, a
mathematician, in her haunted English house where he meets the ghosts of his ancestors and learns about his family's curse. The mathematician... (more) 


The Shadow of the God (1900) 
 Charles Newman Hall 

A cute, poeticallywritten story set in the Yucatan, where Ethel, her cousin, Tom, and Tom’s college friend, Whitman, went looking at the ruins of an ancient Aztec “Temple of Huitzilopochtli”.
Whitman... (more) 


She Wrote the Book (1946) 
 Oscar Brodney (writer) / Warren Wilson (writer) / Charles Lamont (director) 

A modest and shy female math professor develops amnesia and completely changes her behavior when she comes to believe she is the author of steamy romance models. According to Burkard Polster and Marty... (more) 


Shooting the Sun (2004) 
 Max Byrd 

Historical mathematicians Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage play supporting roles in this novel about an expedition into uncharted Indian territory to capture the first photograph of a solar eclipse at... (more) 


Silicon Muse (1984) 
 Hilbert Schenck 

Schenck's other Analog story would provide a geometric means of analyzing this one, but that is not why it is listed here. The story is about a computer that can write fiction about a computer that can... (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) 


Singer Distance (2022) 
 Ethan Chatagnier 

At the beginning of this novel, MIT math grad student Crystal Singer and a group of her friends are on a road trip to Arizona where they plan to carve a giant message to the inhabitants of Mars. Singer... (more) 


Singleton (2002) 
 Greg Egan 

This story involves a physicist and a mathematician who have a child  well, sort of  that they have specially designed to remain in a "classical" state (as opposed to a quantum superposition of states)... (more) 


Smilla's Sense of Snow (1992) 
 Peter Hoeg 

"Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen is a partInuit Dane who is an expert on
ice and snow, and a mathematician to boot. She is depressed and/or
anxious most of the time, and the story is very dark, depressing,... (more) 


Snow (1998) 
 Geoffrey A. Landis 

An apparently schizophrenic, homeless woman sells her body to get herself and her infant off the street on a cold night. Only at the end of this extremely short story do we realize that the imaginary... (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) 


Souls in the Great Machine (1999) 
 Sean McMullen 

A thousand years in our future, civilization on Earth has been restarted from scratch following a combination of global warming, nuclear winter, and a mysterious periodic phenomenon known as "the Call".... (more) 


The Spacetime Pool (2008) 
 Catherine Asaro 

Janelle, recently graduated from MIT with a degree in math, is pulled through the "branch cut" between two universes to an alternate Earth where two sword wielding brothers rule half the world. There,... (more) 


Spherical Harmonic (2001) 
 Catherine Asaro 

As a child, Dyhianna Selei created a transformation, just a mathematical construct, mapping the real world into an abstract space of "thoughts" (whatever that means) spanned by an infinite set of spherical... (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) 


The Square Root of Summer (2016) 
 Harriet Reuter Hapgood 

In this young adult novel, a mathematically inclined teenager who ignores the sad events she does not want to remember learns to deal with them by literally revisiting her past through wormholes.
There... (more) 


Squate (2022) 
 Tom Blackford 

In this cute story, a thirteen year old girl becomes good friends with the square root of eight. From "Squate", she learns not only facts about math but also things about other people who are working... (more) 


The Steep Approach to Garbadale (2007) 
 Iain Banks 

Alban McGill is a reluctant member of a family whose wealth is derived from the creation of an immensely popular board game. The three main plots of the novel (which are intertwined) concern his childhood... (more) 


Stella Maris (2022) 
 Cormac McCarthy 

Readers of McCarthy's 2022 novel The Passenger learn quickly that its protagonist's sister was a mathematical prodigy who committed suicide. That isolated fact provides motivation for the remainder of... (more) 


The Steradian Trail (2013) 
 M.N. Krish 

This mathematical thriller takes place in India where American computer science professor Joshua Ezekiel is attempting to figure out the twisted criminal plot that his recently murdered student had become... (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) 


Strip Search (2007) 
 William Bernhardt 

A detective is aided by an autistic child in capturing a serial killer who leaves equations written in the blood of his victims at the scenes of the grisly crimes.
In your MathFiction entry for William... (more) 


A Study in Seduction (2012) 
 Nina Rowan 

From the back cover: "A heart divided...a passion multiplied...a love unequalled."
Although you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, I could guess from the image of a shirtless man with no chest hair... (more) 


The Sudoku Murder (2007) 
 Shelley Freydont 

With the current popularity of sudoku puzzles, it is not surprising that a mystery novel with this title would appear. As a mystery, this one is quite decent. A mathematician who works for a government... (more) 


Sweet Tooth (2012) 
 Ian McEwan 

A female mathematics student at the University of Cambridge gets recruited for intelligence work by the MI5. She tries to explain the Monty Hall Problem to her boyfriend (a budding author), but he fails... (more) 


The Tenth Muse (2019) 
 Catherine Chung 

This wideranging work of historical fiction unfolds in the period from just before World War II into the 1960s, in America, Europe and Asia. In the first chapter, the narrator is already an aging mathematician... (more) 


Le Théorème de Marguerite [Marguerite's Theorem] (2023) 
 Anna Novion (Writer and Director) 

Marguerite Hoffman is a mathematics PhD student at the prestigious École normale supérieure in Paris, but drops out after an error is found in her proof of the Riemann Hypothesis. Her math skills allow... (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) 


They'll Say It Was the Communists (2024) 
 Sarah Lazarz 

Women working as human "computers" for NASA in its early years discover that their boss is actually a tentacled creature who feasts on valid calculations and is repulsed by mathematical errors.
In addition... (more) 


Thirteen Diamonds (2000) 
 Alan Cook 

A murder mystery set in a retirement community in Chapel Hill, NC. During a bridge game at the club, one of the members, a Nobellaureate in Economics, keels over and dies after receiving a perfect hand... (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) 


Threshold (1997) 
 Sara Douglass 

This is another fantasy book in which mathematics is seen as a sort of magic, but in this one it is specifically a particularly evil, cold and inhuman form of magic, in contrast to other less formulaic... (more) 


The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (2015) 
 Sydney Padua 

This graphic novel starts out as a basically realistic fictionalized biography of the 19th century mathematicians Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, even if it is a biography with a snarky sense of humor.... (more) 


Time Travel for Love and Profit (2021) 
 Sarah Lariviere 

Nephele Weather's nerdy tendencies made her an outcast at school. Since her "only superpower is math", she decides to discover the equations of time travel so that she can repeat her freshman year and... (more) 


To The Power Against (2007) 
 Carrie Smith (writer) / Stephanie Lantry (Artist) 

Probability and the number 235 (which appears on each cover, sometimes cleverly hidden) each play a role in this interesting but still somewhat amateurish comic book series from Conjoined Comics.
Our... (more) 


Too Much Happiness (2009) 
 Alice Munro 

The penultimate collection of short stories from Nobel laureate Alice Munro features a title story about the final days of Sonia Kovalevskaya. The main source of tension in the story is her love affair... (more) 


TouchMeNot (2010) 
 Cynthia Riggs 

In this installment of a series of mystery novels set on Martha's Vineyard, an electrician accidentally murders an employee who was blackmailing him and then is killed himself. Throughout most of the... (more) 


Trajectory (2024) 
 Cambria Gordon 

Eleanor, a teenage girl from Philadelphia who has been hiding her impressive mathematical abilities, uses them to aid the military during WW II.
As with many works of fiction aimed at Young Adults,... (more) 


Two Moons (2000) 
 Thomas Mallon 

A historical novel set in Washington DC of the late 19th century in which
astronomers and the Naval Observatory (aided by the "computer" Cynthia May)
deal with scientific and political matters of the... (more) 


Uniform Convergence: A OneWoman Play (2016) 
 Corrine Yap 

This play about race, gender and math was written and first performed by Corrine Yap when she was a math/theater double major at Sarah Lawrence College. It has evolved and changed and continued to be... (more) 


A Universe of Sufficient Size (2019) 
 Miriam Sved 

It is only after the death of her father that an Australian sculptor learns that her mother was one of five Hungarian Jews mathematicians who worked on math research together in a public park as Hitler... (more) 


Unlocked (2012) 
 Courtney Milan 

In this novella the heroine's mother is an amateur astronomer computing the orbit of a comet. She has no recognition from professional astronomers. She is invited by her fellow upper class ladies... (more) 


Unreasonable Effectiveness (2003) 
 Alex Kasman 

"Unreasonable Effectiveness" reminds me of a classic Arthur C. Clarke style
short story. It has exactly enough mathematics done correctly and a twist that
boggles the mind at the end. To be fair... (more) 


V2: A Novel of World War II (2020) 
 Robert Harris 

The plot of this work of historical fiction is based on the following historical fact: A team of British WAAFs stationed in Belgium used mathematics and slide rules to try to determine the location of... (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) 


Villages (2004) 
 John Updike 

The protagonist of this novel is Owen Mackenzie, a character who earned a degree in mathematics in the 1950's and went on to work with computers. His first lover, as well, was a mathematician. They... (more) 


What Are the Odds? (2006) 
 Justin Spitzer (writer) / Matthew Tritt (director) 

Two extremely nerdy strangers who keep running into each other in New York City are surprised to learn that they both "study applied mathematics" and are attending the same conference on "stochastic processes... (more) 


What it Means When A Man Falls From The Sky (2017) 
 Lesley Nneka Arimah 

In a postapocalyptic Africa, now home to many Europeans who came as refugees from the floods but then took over, mathematicians have the job of eliminating people's pain.
In this fantastical world,... (more) 


When Women Were Dragons (2022) 
 Kelly Barnhill 

In this fantasy/alternative history novel, many women literally turn into dragons in the 1950's. It is clear to the reader that the sexism of that era is responsible for that magical transformation, and... (more) 


The Whisper of Disks (2002) 
 John Meaney 

I found this to be a strange story. It switches between a few time periods in the future and in the past. The present is about a young girl, Augusta  “Gus”  who develops over time into a math and... (more) 


The Witch of Agnesi (2006) 
 Robert Spiller 

Solid murder mystery in which a high school math teacher finds the murderer of three of her best students.
My favorite thing about this book is the way that Bonnie Pinkwater and her boyfriend  the... (more) 


The Woman Who Shook the WorldTree (2012) 
 Michael Swanwick 

A mathematical prodigy (she derived her own version of calculus to compute volumes when she was only seven years old, and by age 18 she had three PhD.s, including one in a field she had invented) teams... (more) 


The World We Make (2022) 
 N. K. Jemisin 

Readers of the first novel in the series, The City We Became, have already met Padmini Prakash. She loves pure math and hates New York City, but due to familial pressures is preparing to be a Wall Street... (more) 


WWW: Wake (2009) 
 Robert J. Sawyer 

A blind math prodigy uses her ability to "see" what is going on in the Internet (watch out for the pun: Websight) to discover the emergence of a virtual life form. This is a solid and very readable hard... (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) 


You Don't Scare Me (2007) 
 John Farris 

A math grad student at Yale is haunted by the memory and undead spirit of her abusive stepfather. Using her knowledge of the mathematics of "higher dimensions", she locates the coordinates of the "netherworld"... (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) 


Zero Sum Game (2018) 
 S.L. Huang 

Cas Russell is violent and amoral. She is also really good at math. Her understanding of physics and quick work with vectors allows her to do things like ricochet a tossed cell phone just right to knock... (more) 


Zilkowski's Theorem (2003) 
 Karl Iagnemma 

This is a story of a love triangle with a definite mathematical twist. Henderson's roommate, Czogloz, steals away his girlfriend, Milla, when all three were math graduate students. Years later, seeking... (more) 
