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

"Understanding a Professor and a Revolutionary," by Richard Pipes. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 18April 2003, pages B11-B12.

Pipes tells the strange, but fascinating, tale of Alexander Pell: firstmathematics chair (1897) at the University of South Dakota, and the first deanof its school of engineering. An AMS member, he was extremely popular, earningthe nickname "Jolly Little Pell." Yet this kind, jolly man had been an assassinand informer in his earlier years as a revolutionary in Russia when his namewas Sergei Degaev. Pipes relates the details of the opposite parts ofDegaev/Pell's life and wonders which part was the real person.

--- Mike Breen

American Mathematical Society