Isaac Swift is a mathematician - not an outstanding one, but a competent, unextraordinary pencil-pusher. And like all mathematicians, he's constantly reminded that it's the prodigies of his profession who advance human knowledge. The rest just try to understand. Now Isaac thinks he's found the solution to "Beauregard's Wild Number Problem," a puzzle that has stumped savants for centuries. And Dimitri, his mentor at the university, once a near-great mathematician himself, thinks Isaac is correct. If so, Isaac will have elevated himself to the ranks of the immortals. But now accusations of plagiarism arise, and the threat of violence that may not stop at the intellectual level looms over the university.