Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Useful Invention or Absolute Truth: What is Math?" by George Johnson. ScienceTimes, New York Times, 10 February 1998, pages C1 and C6.

A number of recent books have asserted, as Johnson puts it, that "mathematicsis not an ethereal essence but comes from people who invented, not discovered,it." The books in this article discussed include What is MathematicsReally? by Reuben Hersh, The Number Sense: How the Mind CreatesMathematics by Stanislas Dehaene, and The Limits of Mathematics byGregory J. Chaitin.

See also Two reviews of TheNumber Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics by Stanislas Dehaene,and "The Subjective Underbelly ofHardheaded Math".

--- Allyn Jackson