Mathematical Digest


Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Teen Math Whizzes Go Euclid One Better," by Gautam Naik. Wall StreetJournal, 9 December 1996.

This article tells the story of how two high school students in Westport,Connecticut came up with a new proof of a theorem of Euclid. Since Euclidfirst stated and proved the theorem 2000 years ago, no other proof of theresult had ever been found. The basic idea of students' proof is easy tounderstand and lucidly presented in the article. The students have written apaper containing the proof, and the paper will appear in the MathematicsTeacher, a journal published by the National Council of Teachers ofMathematics. Because so many people have clamored to see the proof, it hasalso been posted on the NCTM web site, http://www.nctm.org. One of the most surprisingaspects of the proof is the mysterious appearance of the Fibonacci numbers.

-Allyn Jackson