#### 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

"Number Fun With Ben," edited by Constance Holden. *Science,* 4 May2001.

Many people are not aware of Benjamin Franklin's mathematical creations,which include "magic" squares and circles. Franklin published three suchexamples, two squares and a circle, long in mathematical literature. ButPaul Pasles, a number theorist at Villanova University, has recentlydiscovered four more that show that Franklin had at least four differentmethods of constructing magic squares. Three of the squares were foundamong a multi-volume collection of his papers, and the fourth was containedin a facsimile of one of his letters written in 1765, found in the libraryof the Royal Society in London. The article includes an illustration of amagic square with "bent columns".

*--- Annette Emerson *