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.
"Gambler's Paradox" by R. Dean Astumian, Scientific American, July 2001, p. 62.
The title refers to a game designed to show an apparent paradox related to Brownian motion-specifically to molecular devices known as Brownian ratchets. The game consists of two games each of which has a negative expected value for the player. Yet if the player switches between the two games, the expected value is positive. The parallel to Brownian ratchets is that the ratchets allow a system to gain energy by alternating between two states, each of which loses energy. Simpson's paradox is described briefly in the article which appears as a sidebar within the article "Making Molecules into Motors" (pp. 56-64).
--- Mike Breen