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

"Formally speaking," by John L. Casti. Nature, 31 May 2001, page 527.

In this article, Casti writes on the formalization of language and how attemptsat formalization have led to different branches of mathematics. Withoutformalization, it is hard to prove theorems. Yet no matter how rigorous thedefinition, mathematicians cannot "suffocate" language: "the objects ofmathematics really do mean something, and that meaning cannot be replaced bypure syntax alone." Casti uses work done by Gödel, Russell and Turing asexamples of formalization.

--- Mike Breen

American Mathematical Society