Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"The Joy of Math": An interview with Keith Devlin, author of The Math Gene:How Mathematical Thinking Evolved and Why Numbers are like Gossip.Interview by Josie Glausiusz. Discover, January 2001.

Every time we navigate a room, we demonstrate our innate mathematical ability,says Keith Devlin, Dean of Science at St. Mary's College. Perhaps thatexplains why math reads like a soap opera script: "If X does this to Y, whatwill Y do to X? And what exactly is going on between Y and X, anyway?" Devlinalso points out that the only animals with any mathematical capabilities arechimps and bonobos, and it takes years of training to bring them to the levelof a human two-year-old.

--- Kathryn Leonard

American Mathematical Society