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

"Voices Carry: One More Paradigm Shift, and You'll be Able to Tell Your Computer Everything," by Matthew Steinglass. Lingua Franca, July/August 2000.

In this article, the author discusses the history and future of voice-recognition techniques. Most voice-recognition software today uses what are called hidden Markov models, the dominant technique in voice-recognition since the 1970s. While noting that computers are still decidedly inferior to humans in deciphering oral communication, Steinglass states that some experts think that we are due for a breakthrough that will make voice the prevalent means of communication with computers within the next five years. Recently, neural nets have been used and may provide the hoped-for breakthrough.

--- Michael Breen

American Mathematical Society