Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"A Productive Dead End, An Escape by Computer," by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt.New York Times, 15 July 1996.

This article reviews the book After Thought: The Computer Challenge to HumanIntelligence, by James Bailey. Bailey was a senior manager of thenow-defunct Thinking Machines Corporation, which produced some of the mostsophisticated and powerful computers of this decade. In discussing parallelprocessing, neural networks, and the like, Bailey makes a case for the prospectof a coming electronic revolution that will rival the invention of language inits intellectual impact. In order for people to be able to use the computingtools of the future, the book suggests, mathematics education should focus onfamiliarity with parallel computing and should relegate geometry and calculusto the history department.

-Allyn Jackson