The Witch of Agnesi

by Kareem Carr

I recently found out about a book called The Witch of Agnesi. For some reason, I felt some doubt that the title was actually mathematics related. However, when I did look it up, it seems to be a fiction book about a math teacher named Bonnie investigating the deaths of students competing in a high school competition including one who is unusually precocious at math.

I am always unreasonably pleased when I see a reference to mathematics in something even vaguely resembling mainstream media. It’s good to see that the ideas that are so dear to us in mathematics have some ephemeral penetration into the rest of society. While many of the practical implications do find their way into society, quite often the pleasure of mathematics doesn’t. The best appropriations of mathematics in popular culture show a fusion of mathematical and mainstream elements. For instance, this.

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