Oliver Knill

Mathnovels

This page was initiated on April 25, 2008 and is online since July 24, 2011 by Oliver Knill Department of Mathematics, Harvard University. See also Math in Movies.

Christos Papadimitriou, Turing: This novel about computation is essentially a novel incarnation of a popular computer science book. Turing, the interactive turoring program explains some "pop" themes in the mathematics of computation.

Arturo Sangalli, Pythagorean Revenge: Originally planned as a popular mathbook, it became a novel. And what a good one. Features for example a nice exposition about the 15 puzzle, the pythagoreans, or randomness.

Tefcros Michaelides, Pythagorean Crimes: A thriller about a mystery murder committed for mathematical reasons. Features the international Congress of Mathematicians in 1900.

Mark Cohen, The Fractal Murders (2004): A detective roman in which several mathematicians working on fractals were killed. The Harvard mathematics department and especially the main office is featured in this book.

Donald Knuth, Surreal numbers (1974): A love story in which two mathematicians find themselves alone on an island. A stone reveals a strange axiom system for numbers, the surreal numbers

Apostolos Doxiadis: Uncle Petros and the Goldbach conjecture (1992): The story of a boy who after failing to solve a challenge given to him by his onlcle becomes a mathematician.

Rudy Rucker: Mathematicians in Love (2006): A gnarly cyberpunk SciFi romantic love triangle comedy.

Ben Mezrich: Bringing down the house (2002): A few MIT Students take down Vegas.

Edwin Abbott: Flatland (1884): The archetype of a math novel which explains the difficulty to see higher dimensional space.

Oliver Knill, Department of Mathematics, Harvard University, One Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. SciCenter 432 Tel: (617) 495 5549, Email: knill@math.harvard.edu. twitter, youtube, vimeo, Linkedin Google plus Spring 2014 office hours: Tue/Thu 4-5, and by appointment, especially before and after classes.