Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?": Review of The Millennium Problems: TheSeven Greatest Unsolved Mathematical Mysteries of Our Time, by Keith Devlin.Reviewed by Steve Kennedy. American Scientist, March-April 2003, pages 180-181.

In the millennium year of 2000, the Clay Mathematics Insitute created seven,US$1-million prizes for the solution of some significant problems in mathematics.Those problems are the subject of Devlin's book, which is written in lay terms.The problems are not only hard to solve, but extremely difficult to explain.Kennedy writes that through no fault of Devlin, the layperson is "not reallygoing to understand what these problems are, why they're difficult or whythey're important." Yet readers "will get some interesting scientific historyand, perhaps, a glimpse of how far research mathematics has progressed fromschool mathematics."

--- Mike Breen