Blog on Math Blogs

Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Math's Most Wanted": Review of three books:
Prime Obsession: Berhnard Riemann and theGreatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics, by John Derbyshire;
The Riemann Hypothesis: The Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics,by Karl Sabbagh; and
The Music of the Primes: Searching to Solve the Greatest Mystery inMathematics, by Marcus du Sautoy.
Reviewed by Kristin Leutwyler. ScientificAmerican, May 2003, pages 94-95."The Grade A, Number 1 Prime Puzzle of Math," by Greg Mone. Popular Science, May 2003.

Leutwyler reviews the three books, each dealing with the Riemann Hypothesis,explaining the Hypothesis and describing the tone and target audience of eachbook. Towards the end of the review she writes, "The Music of the Primesmade me feel as if I were sitting through a gracefully worded lecture. TheRiemann Hypothesis is more journalistic, relying on quotes from workingmathematicians to tell the story. Parts of Prime Obsession read almostlike a novel, others like a mathematical text."

--- Mike BreenNote added September 2003: Prime Obsession is on the Best-Seller list inthe September issue of Discover.The list of science-realted best-sellers is provided to Discover byBarnes & Noble Booksellers.See also the positive review of Prime Obsession, "Mathematics problemsthat remains elusive---and beautiful," by Raymond Petersen, Washington Times, 17 August2003.