Important information regarding the recent AMS power outage.

The transformer that provides electricity to the AMS building in Providence went down on Sunday, April 22. The restoration of our email, website, AMS Bookstore and other systems is almost complete. We are currently running on a generator but overnight a new transformer should be hooked up and (fingers crossed) we should be fine by 8:00 (EDT) Wednesday morning. This issue has affected selected phones, which should be repaired by the end of today. No email was lost, although the accumulated messages are only just now being delivered so you should expect some delay.

Thanks for your patience.

Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Kissing Cousins: The Numbers Show We're All One Big Happy Family," by AnaBerlin. The Sciences, September/October 1999, page 9.

This article discusses a newly developed mathematical model of geneaology.Most such models rely on the fact that, counting n generations back, eachperson has 2n ancestors. The new model takes into account the factthat, because human populations long ago were small, matings often took placebetween relatives. One therefore finds that two randomly chosen people alivetoday are likely to have a common ancestor---provided one looks sufficientlyfar back in their family trees. The new model, the article says, has"important applications for evolutionary biologists and populationgeneticists."

--- Allyn Jackson

American Mathematical Society