Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Bookish Math," by Erica Klarreich. Science News, 20 and 27 December,2003, pages 392-394.

In this cover story, Klarreich writes about stylometry: The science ofmeasuring literary style. Stylometry has been used to determine who authoredShakespeare's plays and some of the Federalist Papers. A resultpublished in the spring 2003 issue of Chance, states that Frank L.Baum did not write the 15th book in the Oz series, The Royal Book of Oz,a book often claimed to be Baum's last work. Instead, the author appears to beRuth Plumly Thompson who wrote books in the series following Baum's death. Inthe examples cited in the article, Klarreich describes the technique used todecide disputed authorship.

--- Mike Breen