Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Sizing Up the Nest," Random Samples, Science, 30 November 2001, p. 1823.

This is a short item concerning a debate about how ants estimate the size of a potential nesting site. Some researchers claim that ants estimate the size using area; others say that the estimation is done via perimeter. A new study in the journal Behavioral Ecology claims that it is the former despite the fact that the latter theory has been predominant since the 1970s.

--- Mike Breen