Mathematics in fiction
(a list compiled by Alex Kasman, much longer than the list on the present
Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda. The novel originally appeared in
Dutch in 2010. One of the main characters is Siem Sigerius, rector of
the University of Twente (Netherlands) who has done brillant mathematical
work in knot theory for which he has won a Fields Medal.
A short description in the novel of this work mentions a polynomial
which can distinguish non-equivalent knots from each other.
The author may have arrived at this idea when he interviewed
Vaughan Jones in October 1998 for the weekly newspaper of the University of
Twente. Jones was there as a speaker in the annual symposium organised
by the Fundamental Analysis group.
Read the interview
in Dutch and see the
- Math in Laputa
Infinitesimal methods in Tolstoy's War and Peace
Wiskunde in Multatuli's Ideeën (in Dutch)
When I heard the Learn'd Astronomer
"Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture"
by Apostolos Doxiadis: book review by Keith Devlin
Chaos, Fractals, and Arcadia
(an animated description
by Robert L. Devaney
of some of the mathematical ideas lurking in
the background of Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia)
William Wordsworth, the stone and the shell.
See lines 50-140 in
The Prelude, Book Fifth.
Wiskunde en Fictie: enige voorbeelden en kanttekeningen,
in: Liber Amicorum Piet van der Houwen, Mathematisch Centrum,
Amsterdam, 20 October 2000.
Download pdf file, 6 pages.
to Tom Koornwinder's home page