Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

Review of The Honors Class: Hilbert's Problems and Their Solvers,by Benjamin H. Yandell. Reviewed by John McCleary.AmericanScientist, May-June 2002, page 289.

Also reviewed in New Scientist, 9March 2002, page 51; reviewer Elizabet Sourbut.

The title refers to the 23 problems posed by David Hilbert in 1900. McClearywrites that the author's goal "is to trace the fate of each problem, includingthe contributions that led up to a solution and the solution itself. His focus,however, is squarely on the problem solvers--their lives and communities andthe world in which their work was done." The reviewer compares The HonorsClass with Eric Temple Bell's Men of Mathematics, writing that bothbooks "share the goal of making mathematics a living subject whosepractitioners are at times heroic, painfully ordinary or even crabby."

--- Mike Breen

American Mathematical Society