# Mathematical Digest

### Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics

in the Popular Press

"The Shaping of Oboe Reeds: Maybe it is Rocket Science," by Malcolm W. Browne.*New York Times*, 31 October 1997, page C4.

Despite the many affinities between mathematics and music, it comes as asurprise that mathematics may help musicians tell good oboe reeds from badones. James Spall, a statistical analyst, often watched his wife, oboistKatherine Ceasar-Spall, as she went through the process of cutting, scoring,and filing the temperamental reeds. James Spall has developed a mathematicalmodel designed to predict when a reed will go bad before the most laboriouspart of the refining process is done.

*--- Allyn Jackson*