At Mr. Hilbert"s Hotel Infinity, the resident cat is puzzled. The hotel is fully booked - the rooms are full of Numbers, both Odds and Evens - yet guests continue to arrive. When Zero shows up, there"s a massive room switching, and he stays, even though Mr.

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The Cat in Numberland Note: This work of mathematical fiction is recommended by Alex for children. This picture book uses the idea of a hotel with infintely many rooms for introducing some advanced concepts about numbers and infinity to children. The hotel, run in the book by "Mr. Hilbert", was actually a metaphor attributed to the mathematician David Hilbert and has already appeared in other works of mathematical fiction for adults see The Extraordinary Hotel Here, in addition to the usual surprises about infinite sets, the young reader can be introduced to odd vs.

Like the unrelated book Numberland by George Weinberg, most of the characters in the book are the positive integers themselves. The climax, which is well presented, is the one-to-one pairing of the set of fractions with the positive integers which in the language of Georg Cantor proves that the rational numbers are a countable set. Thanks to Paula Morrow for bringing this unusual children's book to my attention.

Contributed by Amy Bassan My elementary students love this book. The pictures and stories are a creative rendition of a very difficult mathematical concept. I reccomend it highly. Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon. Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list.

To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage. Humorous , Didactic , Children's Literature ,.


The cat in numberland / by Ivar Ekeland ; illustrated by John O'Brien.

I ordered the book immediately and had the boys read it a few times this week. We got around to talking about it this afternoon. In the last video we I asked the boys for 3 ideas from the book that they wanted to talk about. They chose:. My older son got a little confused by the numbering of the hotel rooms in this video. For part 3 we had a nice conversation about how you can form a bijection between the counting numbers and the non-negative even integers. That conversation went pretty fast so I asked the boys to each find another bijection and got really lucky when they picked two pretty cool ideas — powers of 2 and prime numbers.


The Cat in Numberland

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