What’s Happening in the Mathematical Sciences, Volume 7Share this page
Since 1993, the AMS has been publishing What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences, a series of lively and highly readable accounts of the latest developments in mathematics. This seventh volume describes some genuine surprises, such as the recent discovery that coin tosses are inherently unfair; a mathematical theory of invisibility that was soon followed by the creation of a prototype “invisibility cloak”; and an ultra-efficient approach to image sensing that led to the development of a single-pixel camera.
The past few years have also seen deep results on some classical mathematics problems. For example, this volume describes a proof of the Sato–Tate Conjecture in number theory and a major advance in the Minimal Model Program of algebraic geometry. The computation of the character table of the exceptional Lie group \(E_8\) brings “the most beautiful structure in mathematics” to public attention, and proves that human persistence is just as important as gigabytes of RAM. The amazing story of the Archimedes Palimpsest shows how the modern tools of high-energy physics uncovered the centuries-old secrets of the mathematical writings of Archimedes.
Dana Mackenzie, a science writer specializing in mathematics, makes each of these topics accessible to all readers, with a style that is friendly and at the same time attentive to the nuances that make mathematics fascinating. Anyone with an interest in mathematics, from high school teachers and college students to engineers and computer scientists, will find something of interest here. The stories are well told and the mathematics is compelling.
One can say without overstatement that the standards in these volumes are very high indeed.
The articles are very well written, and usually include quotes from the mathematicians who were involved in the work in question, giving the whole thing a more “human” feel. This book offers professionals a way to keep abreast of what's going on in the field and also gives us a way to share with our students and colleagues some of the excitement of doing mathematics. Don't miss it.
…an excellent series transferring contemporary mathematical research in a delightful and exact manner to both non-mathematicians and mathematicians.
The mixture of hot topics and profiles of outstanding mathematicians proves a good choice. …Hopefully it will reach teachers and educators in order to make mathematics more visible and perhaps a bit more understandable to the general public.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences, Volume 7
General mathematical audience.
The goal of the series is to shed light on topics on the leading edge of mathematical research in a way that is accessible to the mathematical layperson. The articles frequently combine mathematics with physics, and are written in a lively style that should be accessible to anyone with genuine interest and some college-level experience in mathematics and science.