# Mathematical Digest

### Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics

in the Popular Press

"A beautiful subject": Review of three books. Reviewed by Andrew Bowler. *New Scientist,* 16 March 2002, page 48.

This brief piece reviews three popular books about mathematics: *Mathematical Vistas,* by Peter Hilton, Derek Holton, and Jean Pedersen; *The Essential John Nash,* edited by Harold Kuhn and Sylvia Nasar; and *The Algorithmic Beauty of Seaweeds, Sponges and Corals,* by Jaap Kaandorp and Janet K\"ubler. The reviewer considers whether these books might be useful in helping students, especially at the undergraduate level, get a better understanding of mathematics. He concludes that the approach of the first book ``seems well suited to undergraduate teaching,'' while the other two books would be more useful for undergraduate projects in mathematics. *Mathematical Vistas* covers a number of outstanding problems in matheamtics, such as the Four-Color Theorem and Fermat's Last Theorem. *The Algorithmic Beauty of Seaweeds, Sponges and Corals* discusses the modeling and growth of certain organisms; it's ``sketchy on the maths,'' the reviewer writes, but has ``many wonderful illustrations.'' *The Essential John Nash* consists of a collection of the most significant papers written by the mathematician and Nobel Laureate John Nash.

*--- Allyn Jackson*